Once an egg hatches, the newborn sea turtle faces many predators including crabs, birds, raccoons, dogs, and fish. Most of the turtles never make it to the ocean.
AHUACHAPÁN, El Salvador — After collecting over 100,000 sea turtle eggs in 2022 on the beaches of Garita Palmera, El Salvador, members of the Turtle Preservation Program released dozens of baby turtles into the ocean at night.
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When a sea turtle egg hatches, the newborns face many predators including crabs, birds, raccoons, dogs, and fish. Most of the turtles never make it to the ocean. In addition, due to global warming and the rising temperatures of the sand, scientists fear more female turtles will be born than male turtles. This shift in numbers could lead to a decline in population.
In Garita Palmera, Ahuachapán, social and environmental organizations such as QUELONIA do their best to preserve the turtles’ ecosystems. As part of their conservation initiative, they conceived hatcheries, and plan for periodic releases from June through February. This controlled environment allows for minimal risk and danger for the baby sea turtles.
In October 2022, residents of Garita Palmera, along with members of the Roundtable for the Sustainability of Water and the Environment of Ahuachapán (MESAMA), and the Salvadoran Ecological Unit (UNES), assisted in the release of dozens of turtles. This project, started by QUELONIA, is executed by the Barra de Santiago Women’s Community Development Association (AMBAS). AMBAS has also funded various environmental projects over the past 20 years.
According to recent statements, there are close to a million turtle eggs in incubation since the project started. The birth rate increased to 90 percent. The year 2022 saw over 102,919 turtle eggs collected and preserved in AMBAS hatcheries, exceeding the initial goal of 86,000 eggs.
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