- Costa Rica
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The project focuses on carrying out in-water studies of the Hawksbill and Eastern Pacific Green Turtles. Because of the unique biological characteristics of sea turtles, the marine conservation efforts surrounding them is very complex, challenging to predict and requires a long-term commitment. The goal of this project is to protect and help the turtles while at the same time educating and involving the local community, which in turn will generate an alternative and sustainable source of income for local families.
Sea turtles spend a large part of their long lives migrating between nesting and foraging areas. These foraging areas often include both young and adult turtles, as they can sometimes also be habitats for nesting. As a result, the quality of these areas is of critical importance. Despite this, very little is in fact known about the habitats and their use, since most conservation efforts are focused solely on nesting beaches. The in-water studies consist of entering feeding habitat used by sea turtles in different life stages to collect data about population structure, genetic origin, health status and in-water habitat use. This data is used to assess the types of threats to which sea turtles are exposed to in the area.
This project also runs a rescue and rehabilitation centre, as well as a mangrove reforestation effort. Studies are also carried out on the health of the off-shore sea grass bed, which is an important feeding habitat for many species, turtles included.