In 2016, TBT conducted a pilot study to learn more about the local sea turtle population. It was discovered that the number of adult turtles returning annually was quite small - perhaps fewer than 100 individuals. The survival rate of eggs deposited in nests on the beach was extremely low – less than 10 percent. There were many threats facing our turtles.
Yet it was decided that it was not too late. It was clear that something would had to be done to deal with the threats. Hatch success rates would have to be increased dramatically, to sustain the population. TBT set to work - raised the funds needed to retain a qualified biologist, obtain the necessary permits, construct a hatchery, and gather as many eggs as possible from nests on the beach.
The eggs are hatched in our state-of-the-art hatchery in Tambor, on lands made available by the Tambor Tropical beach resort. Our hatch success rate has been outstanding - nearly 90 percent. In just 3 years, we have released over 22,000 hatchlings back into our bay. We believe that that may just be enough to actually increase the population, once the surviving adults begin to return in about 15 years. We cannot, and we will not stop now!
Now that the project is up and running, there are annual, on-going costs to keep it going. TBT hopes to raise funds annually through direct donations from supporters abroad. Those funds will be matched annually by funds raised locally and with revenues generated by the project itself.
Our project is unique. It was begun as a grass roots initiative, and continues to be largely supported by local people (residents and ex-pats working together to ‘give something back’). There are also opportunities for volunteers from abroad and TBT is actively recruiting students involved in internship programs related to their studies, as well as ecotourists looking for an opportunity to do something worthwhile and unforgettable.
TBT is now also very involved with community initiatives intended to complement our core role in saving the turtles, including conservation education, beach clean-ups, organizing community events, promoting recycling and promoting sustainable ecotourism, etc. And yes, we do also perform adult turtle rescues when we are called upon!
Please help us keep this amazing project going, with an annual contribution to Tambor Turtle Rescue.