Dear Friends of ARCAS,
Next month, July 6th, we will start the Turtle nesting season for 2020. This year it will be a little bit different from the past years. Guatemala is still in Lockdown, so travel across municipal lines is still limited. The inauguration for 2020 will be a small event with social distancing and we will follow all required restrictions. We will launch a GlobalGiving campaign to support our project. You will have for example the option to sponsor a nest for 25$ for about 93 Turtle Eggs or for only 10$ you can sponsor a local guide to do nocturnal beach patrols.
Also because of the worldwide outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemia we are missing our Volunteers, we shifted our focus on working together with local communities. The community members are highly affected by the COVID-19, their income was mainly from tourists. There is zero Tourism since 3 months and we don’t have any information for how much longer this situation will last. We 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.
We will be participating in the International Coastal Clean Up (Ocean Conservancy) on beach clean ups and working on solid waste recycling with local communities.
In 2019 ARCAS rescued and incubated 41857 olive Ridley Sea Turtle eggsand released 39,517 hatchlings, which represents nearly a 96% hatching success rate. We plan to to even rescue and release more this year! Unfortunately, we received no leatherback eggs, nor have we heard of any nests laid on the entire Guatemala Pacific coast during the November – January nesting season. This year seems everything is different, hopefully the leatherbacks return back this season to lay their eggs on the beach.
We hopefully can count again on the support of all the amazing and generous donors through GlobalGiving.
Many thanks to our staff, collaborators and volunteers who have spent many nights under wind and rain patrolling the beaches and burying nest.