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Marine Resources 2019 - Leaderboard

Operation Jairo: Protecting the Hawksbill Sea Turtle - one of the most endangered species

by Sea Shepherd Conservation Society 30 Jul 2019 17:31 UTC
Operation Jairo: For the sea turtles © Sea Shepherd Conservation Society

Our crew is in Nicaragua protecting one of the most endangered species in the world, the Hawksbill Sea Turtle. Since May 11th, a group of volunteers has patrolled the beaches each night, looking for nesting mothers. We have successfully recovered 413 sea turtle eggs, which are safely incubating in the hatchery, awaiting their birthdate.

This season we have noticed a significant decline in the number of nesting sea turtles. Padre Ramos is one of the largest nesting areas in the world for the Eastern Pacific Hawksbill Turtle. From May-August, dozens of Hawksbill mothers return to their original nesting location to lay their eggs, a tradition passed from generation to generation. Unfortunately, our crew has only spotted six sea turtles this season, a tragically low number.

Hawksbill Sea Turtles were poached for their beautiful shells to the point of endangerment in the 1900's. Today they face many obstacles: climate change, pollution, coastal development, fishing lines, and poaching. Our mission is to protect every sea turtle we encounter to prevent this incredible species from extinction. With an estimated seven hundred nesting females remaining, every nest saved is critical.

Sea Turtles are some of the oldest living creatures on earth and have called our oceans "home," for over 500 million years. Of the seven species of sea turtles that exist, six are currently on the red list of endangered species. They are threatened by human interactions including pollution, coastal development, fishing gear, and poaching. Due to these threats, there has been an alarming decline in sea turtle populations around the world.

Since 2014, Sea Shepherd has conducted sea turtle protection campaigns at remote beaches around the world, helping defend mother sea turtles and their eggs from poaching. These locations include Costa Rica, Honduras, Florida, Antigua, Barbuda, and Nicaragua. Our efforts have saved the lives of thousands of turtles from a variety of species including hawksbill, green, olive ridley, and leatherback.

Operation Jairo is currently in its fifth season and honors the life and work of Jairo Mora Sandoval, a Costa Rican turtle defender. Jairo was brutally murdered on May 31, 2013 while attempting to protect leatherback turtle nests. Our campaign continues his legacy, as we defend sea turtles in Nicaragua this Summer.

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