Each year, this project protects 79 km of nesting beaches in the Yucatan Peninsula to ensure the development and emergence of endangered hawksbill and green sea turtle hatchlings from an average of 2,358 nests. We conduct daily night surveys during the seven months of the nesting season to protect these nests from depredation, poaching, and wave-action, and increase their chance of survival.
Sea turtles have survived for thousands of years but in just decades, we have pushed them to the brink of extinction due to over-exploitation, pollution, and nesting habitat loss due to land-use changes. To save them, protecting their main nesting beaches and promote their value through knowledge is necessary. Our team will protect three essential nesting beaches for the recovery of hawksbill and green turtles in the Caribbean; and ensure emerged hatchlings reach the sea.
Our team of well-trained technicians will conduct night surveys at three nesting sites during 7 months to protect the nests from poaching, relocate those found in areas of high risk of inundation, record the number of nests and hatchlings, conduct beach clean-ups and environmental education talks in the communities, and integrate technical information for the management authorities, including recommendations to strengthen the protection and conservation of sea turtles.
Sea turtles reach sexual maturity after 20 or 25 years, and only one of every one thousand hatchlings survives to adulthood. By reducing the number of predated and inundated nests, we will increase the survival probability of nests and hatchlings and therefore, favoring population recovery. We will also increase local community awareness on the importance of sea turtles, and provide data on population recovery indicators such as number of nests and reproductive success.