Help Save Baby Sea Turtles

Help us to continue with our sea turtle conservation efforts in Nicaragua INTRODUCTION Sea turtles are one of the Earth's most ancient and charismatic creatures. They are a so-called “keystone species” and make a very important contribution to ocean health, for example, by regulating jellyfish populations or increasing the variety of life on the coral reef. Making sure that sea turtle hatchlings can safely make their way to the ocean is one of the best ways to bring sea turtles back from the edge of extinction. Sos Nicaragua is committed to using all available means in order to make this possible. STATUS QUO Sea turtles are threatened with extinction and suffer from habitat destruction, climate change, fishery bycatch and poaching. In the tropics, sea turtle eggs are still taken from beaches, sold on the black market and later eaten as a delicacy. Unfortunately, Nicaragua is facing hard times at the moment. We are witnessing that more and more people are opting to patrolling the beach at night to search for sea turtle eggs and make some money to cover the necessities of their families. The difficult economic situation is forcing people to do so. LONG-TERM SOLUTION Sos Nicaragua is operating a turtle hatchery at the Peninsula of Los Brasiles (see map) in order to preserve four different sea turtle species. This 18 km-long beach is a worldwide hotspot for sea turtles and a very special habitat to protect. On a third of the beach section (6 km), Sos Nicaragua already saves the sea turtles by protecting their habitat, collecting their eggs and relocating them to a safe hatchery in the first beach section. Sos Nicaragua is running an innovative sea turtle conservation model, working hand-in-hand with locals who were previously egg poachers to protect the sea turtles. We have developed an incentive program for former egg poachers that gives them a basic income in return for their support. “You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.” (Buckminster Fuller) For every protected nest (appx. 110 eggs), we pay our supporters a fair price of about C$600 (about US$18). The eggs that they collect are relocated to our hatchery under controlled temperature conditions. This is the most effective way to save the sea turtles from extinction. With this measure we already protect approximately 200 nests every year and release more than 18,000 baby turtles into the eastern Pacific Ocean. CHALLENGE To avoid turtle eggs from Los Brasiles landing on the black market, we need to extend our work to sectors two and three (see map). However, this also creates additional costs: 1.   To run our night patrols, we need US$ 3,200 to cover the salary of at least two local research assistants during the whole turtle season. 2.   To pay for 200 nests in section one, we already need US$ 3,600 US$ per year just for the incentive program with local poachers. 3.   To extend our efforts to the second section, we need another US$ 3,600 US$ to increase the number of protected nests by 200. 4.   To build a second hatchery we need additional US$ 2,500 per year. In total, that is US$ 13,000 which we need to save about 36,000 baby turtles from the black market in 2020 and release them into freedom. Note: In the next years, Sos Nicaragua plans to develop a new and innovative concept of community-based conservation tourism to finance this amazing sea turtle project and to continue supporting locals and sea turtles.
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Organizer and beneficiary

Phillip Grimm
Freiburg im Breisgau
Grimm Phillip

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