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Project "Save the turtle" in Pochomil

Róger Solórzano Canales | Apr 12, 2012

Representatives of the different sectors that have been involved in the project. | Photographer: Faustino Salcedo

Several tens of thousands of Olive Ridley baby turtles have managed to survive thanks to this multisectoral effort.

The efforts of a project for the Olive Ridley turtle protection in Pochomil Beach, located on the San Rafael del Sur (Managua) shores, were released publicly today after completing its third year of work. It is "Save the turtle", an initiative that has already been achieved protection and birth of 12.306 young turtles thanks to the effort of the Vistamar Hotel and the Club of Young Environmentalists, supported by several governmental and private entities.

We are also animals, and by our capacity of civilization we are trying to keep the animals on our planet ... the animals we care about. These were the words of Moacyr Bittencourt, Regional Director of the World Society for the Protection of Animals (WSPA), an organization that supports the project "Save the turtle" and which qualifies it as an international reference and inspiration for new generations.

The project was born three years ago as initiative of the Vistamar Hotel (located in Pochomil beach) and the scientific and technical support of the environmental Youth Club, under the direction of the engineer Milton Camacho. It consists in the purchase of eggs to the nests extractors, who normally sell them as food in the area and other parts of the country. Rescued eggs are transferred to a nearby nursery, where are planted and are monitored until they hatch, taking advantage of the time as a natural spectacle with the presence of national and foreign tourists.

During the last year of effort, realized between November, 2011 and the current month (April, 2012), the project achieved the birth of 4,575 little turtles, of that 3,706 managed to survive and walk to the sea. The Olive Ridley turtle (Lepidochelys Olivacea) is one of 5 species of marine turtles that spawn on the Nicaragua coasts. This species spawns every year along the whole stripe of the Pacific Ocean during the whole year, and its main nesting period (from July to December) turns out to be a real spectacle in the refuges of La Flor Beach Natural Reserve (Rivas) and Beach Chacocente (Carazo), since they go to spawn in the called "arrivals": several tens thousands of females arrive in groups for several consecutive days.

For this year, the project was funded by the WSPA and the involvement of such entities as the National Earth Fair, the City Hall, the National Police, the Nicaraguan Tourism Board (INTUR), among others. According to Cristhian Alvarez, President of the Young Environmentalists Club, they soon expect to replicate the experience in other beaches in the country.

Translated by Olga Ortiz Kurashvili