WildHope Digital Magazine WildHope Fall 2012 : Page 30

Photo: Brad Nahill/SEEtheWILD FORGOTTEN TURTLES As I flew home from Nicaragua, I reflected on how, in a few short years, this small group of scientists and local residents has managed to upend the scientific consensus regarding both where hawksbill turtles live and their status in this region. Groundbreaking scientific research, the protection of 90 percent of hawksbill eggs laid in both sites, and 200 local residents working to protect hawksbills on a budget equivalent to what some large nonprofits spend on membership mailings alone are just a few of the highlights. At home that evening, getting ready to head to bed after an exhausting journey, I got online to catch up on Facebook. The first post I saw was from Michael Liles, reporting the death of four hawksbills in Jiquilisco, including one that we had just put a satellite transmitter on a few days before that died from blast fishing. While this was an avoidable tragedy, the efforts of local and international conservationists to bring this population back from brink of extinction give the Eastern Pacific hawksbill more than a fighting chance of recovery. 30 SEEtheWILD supports the work of ICAPO, providing the funding to protect roughly 20,000 hatchlings over the past two years. Our goal over the next few years is to help these organizations become self-sustaining by bringing ecotourists and volunteers and raising enough funds to protect every egg in both places. How You Can Help: • Participate in the ICAPO volunteer program • Join a conservation tour to El Salvador with EcoViva • Donate through our Save the Hawksbills Fund

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