COASTS & Nāmaka Conservation Science
|Hawksbill Turtles are classified as Critically Endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) in the Red List of Threatened Species™ (version 2021-3)|
Hawksbill Turtle (Eretmochelys imbricata) – Critically Endangered *
- It spends its time in tropical seas around coral reefs, rocky areas, lagoons, mangroves, oceanic islands, and shallow coastal areas.
- Named for its sharp, bird-like beak, Hawksbills can reach into cracks and crevices of coral reefs looking for food.
- Their diet is very specialized, feeding almost exclusively on sponges.
- Hawksbill turtles help keep reefs healthy by feeding primarily on sponges that out-compete corals.
- One of the smaller turtles, adults weigh between 110 – 150 pounds (50 – 68 kg) and reach 45 inches (114 cm) in length.
- Their population has declined more than 80% in the last century, primarily due to the trade in their beautiful carapace (shell), also traded as ‘tortoiseshell’.
- Female hawksbill turtles return to the same nesting grounds where they were born to lay their eggs.
COASTS, supported by Nāmaka Conservation Science, are a community-led non-profit organization, founded to study and protect endangered sea turtle populations in Costa Rica from detrimental human activities using local knowledge and engaging local stakeholders, such as adjacent communities, fishermen, and the next generation.
Their main focus are the three endangered sea turtle species that are nesting in their region:
- Hawksbill turtle (Eretmochelys imbricata) – Critically Endangered*
- Green turtle (Chelonia mydas) – Endangered*
- Leatherback turtle (Dermochelys coriacea) – Vulnerable* (Southwest Indian Ocean, Southwest Atlantic, East and West Pacific subpopulations – Critically Endangered*)
Their goal is to safeguard sea turtle populations and habitats by collecting data on their activities, conducting nightly patrols to prevent poaching, engaging in environmental outreach, and developing capacity-building activities for local communities.
The team’s activities mitigate and counteract the direct and indirect threats faced by sea turtles such as the exploitive use of adults and eggs through poaching, incidental catch by fisheries, the ingestion and entanglement as a result of ocean plastic pollution, and the effects on sex ratios and sea-level rise because of climate change.
COASTS do this with five programs:
- Anti-poaching patrols
- In-water research
- Satellite tracking
- Environmental education & capacity building
Their vision is to assure the existence of sea turtle populations in the future.
[* current IUCN Red List Category]
(photos by Christine Figgener/ Nāmaka Conservation Science)
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This team and their vital work needs your help.
So what can you do to help?
… the answer is a great deal … and all of it would make a difference …
… and just as important … tell everyone you know …
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#MarineLife #SaveOurSeas #SeaTurtle #Hawksbill #Coastscr
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