| Jul 19, 2023
Quarterly project report, 30,000 Sea Turtles, 56037
Olive ridley hatchlings ready to enter the sea.
2022 was another challenging year for ARCAS’s Hawaii sea turtle and mangrove conservation program. Since the Covid pandemic, the volunteer program, which has traditionally been an important income source for covering operating expenses, has not recuperated. The infrastructure of the Hawaii Park, especially its volunteer housing, animal enclosures and educational spaces, is in urgent need of renovation.
On the other hand, the Park has been hosting growing numbers of national volunteers and school groups and we have been heavily involved in managing the 4000+ha Hawaii Multiple Use Area.
At the Hawaii Hatchery, in 2022 a total of 8,104 olive ridley sea turtle eggs were buried with 7,499 of these or 92.5% successfully hatching out and returning to the ocean. There were unfortunately no reports of leatherback or green nests in the area.
Sea turtle population monitoring 2021
Thanks to the support of the the New England Aquarium, See Turtles, WIDECAST and the Columbus Zoo, we continue our sea turtle population monitoring program on 7 index beaches along the Pacific coast. This is important as it is the only long-term data set on sea turtles and other marine wildlife on the Pacific coast of Guatemala. Please see the latest Situational Analysis on ARCAS’s publications page: https://arcasguatemala.org/who-we-are/arcas-publications/ You can also find a recent article using this data published with colleagues at the Del Valle and Southern Norway Universities.
Plans for 2023
We held our inauguration of the 2023 sea turtle nesting and conservation season on Saturday July 15 at the Hawaii Park. We hosted over 120 children, adults and representatives of CONAP and other colleagues to celebrate the initiation of the egg collection season.
We here at ARCAS have to contribute to the conservation of these endangered species while also contributing to the sustainable livelihoods of low-income local residents. This year the nests might be in more danger because people have lost their jobs and see the sale of turtle eggs still as a lucrative income. For this reason, part of the funds raised through GlobalGiving are used to hire local guides to accompany groups of tourists to witness firsthand the mystical experience of seeing a sea turtle lay its nest, or release hatchlings and watch them scamper down the beach into the sea.
We hopefully can count again on the support of all the amazing and generous donors through GlobalGiving.
Many thanks to our staff and collaborators who have spent many nights under wind and rain patrolling the beaches and burying nest.
Thanks very much for your generous support for our sea turtle conservation efforts, especially in these times of crisis. Please let me know if you have any questions, and please come and visit us. The Hawaii Park is open to public again, both for day visitors and volunteers! And if you want to come and release hatchlings with your children, please contact us for availability.
An olive ridley sea turtle nesting.
Sea Turtle Inauguration ceremony in the Hawaii Par