Nicaragua is among the top countries in the world in terms of the numbers of nesting turtles. A variety of sea turtle species return annually to Nicaragua’s various beaches for the purposes of nesting, two of these beaches are “Olive Ridley” arribada nesting beaches along the Pacific coastline.
Due to the country’s high levels of poverty and lack of government funding for protection, a majority of the turtles and nests are being poached. The poachers not only steal the eggs for consumption/sales in local restaurants, but they also kill adult turtles for their meat and shells.
What is SSCS Doing?
Operation Jairo-Nicaragua campaign ran for a three-month period in the autumn of 2018. Our crew conducted nightly patrols along the beaches of Jiquilillo and Los Zorros, protecting nesting sea turtles and their eggs from local poachers. We utilized a local hatchery where the nests safely incubated, resulting in thousands of baby sea turtles being saved.
This campaign was highly successful with no injuries to the crew, despite multiple attacks from poachers. The campaign totals are listed below.
Nights Patrolled: 84
Total volunteers: 32
Turtle Nests Found: 44
Number of eggs saved: 3906
SSCS volunteers conduct patrols each night, relocating any eggs recovered to the hatchery. This year we have a biologist from the Sea Shepherd Science department bringing a new level of legitimacy to the campaign. This ensures the highest level of protection for the sea turtles while handling the nest, eggs, and hatchlings.
The crew also conducts weekly beach cleanups, as well as organizes activities to build a positive relationship with the local community. By establishing this bond with the local Nicaraguans, it may help eliminate violence and produce a long-term strategy teaching them about the importance of turtle conservation.