Critically Endangered Hawksbill Turtle Conservation in Jiquilisco Bay, El Salvador
Hawksbill turtles are critically endangered globally and in the eastern Pacific Ocean (EP) are among the most endangered and least resilient sea turtle populations in the world. Fewer than 700 adult female hawksbills are estimated to exist in the EP region (Mexico, Peru), with >90% of known nesting activity occurring in El Salvador and Nicaragua. Wild Earth Allies is supporting ProCosta in El Salvador who works closely with coastal fishing communities to protect hawksbill nesting beaches in Jiquilisco Bay. ProCosta has converted local egg collectors who previously harvested turtle eggs for human consumption in local and national markets, to conservation stewards who relocate hawksbill eggs to protected hatcheries. This community-based approach being implemented by ProCosta has essentially halted consumption of hawksbill eggs, underscoring the effectiveness of community engagement and protection efforts of key nesting areas.
Project activities are designed to achieve two specific objectives: 1) Protect hawksbill nesting females and eggs at Jiquilisco Bay, through community engagement; 2) Strengthen protection of nesting beaches at Jiquilisco Bay through awareness raising with coastal communities.