Tuesday, 8 March 2011

Hawksbill Released

Great news from Guate... this morning we were able to release the stranded juvenile Hawksbill turtle back to the ocean. There was a good turn out for the event, the teachers and pupils from the local school attended and it was the first time any of the locals had seen a Hawksbill. March the 8th is carnival day so the scene was filled with eggs and confetti along with the carnival king and queen... so sereal that it can only be Guatemala!

A special thanks to Gloria and Leonel... the couple who found the turtle and brought it straight to us- thanks to them the turtle has made it back to the ocean.

Sunday, 6 March 2011

Stranded juvenile Hawksbill

Here in La Barrona we have just received our first live stranded turtle. She’s a small and feisty juvenile Hawksbill turtle (Eretmochelys imbricata) with a curved carapace length of only 36 cm. She was found stranded on the beach close to the border of El Salvador entangled in a large nylon sack. Luckily one of the local egg poachers picked her up and brought her straight to us. There doesn’t appear to be any obvious injuries so we will keep her under observation for the next couple of days and all being well, release her as soon as possible.

Although Hawksbill turtles do not typically nest here on Guatemala’s Pacific beaches, on average we have at least one stranding each year, which indicates that Eastern Pacific Hawksbills are passing through Guatemalan waters. This species of turtle is classed as critically endangered (see: http://www.iucnredlist.org/apps/redlist/details/8005/0) and until recently was thought to be virtually extinct from the Eastern Pacific region. However, a large rookery has been discovered in neighbouring El Salvador and conservationists throughout the region are working hard to learn more about these turtles in order to protect them. For more information on Eastern Pacific Hawksbills see: http://hawksbill.org/ or read the following journal paper: http://hawksbill.org/sitebuildercontent/sitebuilderfiles/gaos_2010_EPhawksbills.pdf