Sea turtles around the world are threatened with extinction. In Central America, sea turtle eggs are taken from beaches and sold on the black market and later eaten as a delicacy. Turtle egg poachers come from rural coastal communities. Despite their involvement in the illegal wildlife trade, they represent our best hope for a solution.
Paso Pacífico also relies on technological tools to improve protection in nesting beaches. To learn about how we’re addressing poaching using technology click here.
Paso Pacífico recognized that community members are our best allies for sea turtle conservation, and so we established a community ranger program that is staffed by both men and women. These conservation heroes spend their days and nights patrolling beaches and collecting scientific data. Although some of them used to be poachers, they now use their expertise to train hotel partners in methods of sea turtle protection and turtle nursery management. Through their leadership, six additional beaches are protected by hotel partners.
In the past 10 years, Paso Pacífico’s rangers have protected more than 50,000 turtle eggs. These include critically endangered hawksbill and leatherback sea turtles. Through this program, we also provide round-the-clock protection to Nicaragua’s most important nesting beach for the green sea turtle.
Cover photo by Hal Brindley—Travel for Wildlife.