Airline Ambassadors conservation project supports small scale sea turtle egg hatcheries in El Salvador. Individual fisherman demonstrate that successful sea turtle hatching and release sustains their livelihoods more than collecting eggs for restaurants. We create local ownership of the resource while ensuring sustainable outcomes. Donors can visit all phases of the project. See LINK https://airlineamb.org/turtle-cons
An illegal egg trade, deficiencies of local environmental education and a lack of popular integration into global conservation networks enhance a continued path to extinction for sea turtles. Larger scale hatchery and conservation efforts are expensive to maintain and have had mediocre success (see declining turtle populations). Although singular community projects have certain success, many like minded individuals are left out of conservation projects that turn political.
Enhancing the integrity of the breeding cycle through protection of local nesting sites increases hatchling survival, while coastal communities in El Salvador depend upon every marine resource for their own survival. Improving attitudes toward international conservation efforts while providing incentives for individuals to protect resident sea turtles can be accomplished by giving program ownership to non-centralized small scale hatcheries where every family controls and benefits from outcomes.
Sea turtles are a keystone species which an ecosystem depends on to maintain a proper biological balance. They help maintain biodiversity, improve nutrient-cycling processes, and provide food for ocean fauna. Sea turtles are also a keystone species for tourism which generates local income that displaces non-sustainable conservation practices, such as egg collecting. By protecting sea turtles, we can improve attitudes about all environments vital to life in El Salvador.
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