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Please Help Turtles

Please help save turtles. They are some of the most ancient creatures on the planet but – unless we act now – we could lose them forever.

Every year, female turtles haul themselves out of the water to reach their nesting site – undergoing a tangibly monstrous effort to lay their eggs, bury them and return to the water. It’s in this moment, the next generation of turtles is uniquely vulnerable.

This is the moment when poachers strike.

Raiding the nests, they seize eggs by the handful – taking them away to be eaten at home or sold in markets. For many turtle populations, it’s been more than their dwindling numbers can bear. Some experts have said we have less than 10 years to turn it around for certain species.

But that is still enough time.

If we can act now and scale up the protection their numbers can still stabilise.

That’s why we’re asking for donation today that could help keep them safe. By donating today you could help pay for aerial surveys so we can pinpoint exactly where vulnerable eggs have been laid, and help pay for beach patrollers to protect the eggs on the ground.

This will end the poaching, and stop the needless extinction.

So please, make a donation today and help save turtles.

HOW FFI IS HELPING TO SAVE THE HAWKSBILL TURTLE

During a research mission in July 2009, the Eastern Pacific Hawksbill Initiative (ICAPO), a partnership that includes Fauna & Flora International (FFI), identified Estero Padre Ramos Natural Reserve in Nicaragua as a priority conservation site for hawksbill turtles. Estero Padre Ramos is the largest nesting site in the eastern Pacific, and sea turtle experts now consider it globally important.

A year later, FFI started working with local communities in this reserve to protect hawksbill turtles by turning poachers into turtle protectors. These anti-poaching measures have reduced egg loss to zero on several beaches where previously every single egg was being taken.

Today, FFI works to protect six key sea turtle nesting sites in Nicaragua, including three hawksbill nesting sites. At each of these we are working to stabilise and rebuild the critical sub-population of hawksbills by working with communities to protect nests from poaching, reducing by-catch through improved fishing practices and changing public attitudes towards turtle egg consumption.

Sea turtles are long-lived so, while we can reduce the threats turtles face in the short term, we are unlikely to see changes to overall population numbers for some time, when the turtle hatchlings we are protecting today are old enough to return to nest on the beaches where they were born. However, we do know that our conservation efforts are protecting 42% of all hawksbill turtles in the entire eastern Pacific Ocean.

We are also protecting hawksbill turtles in Cambodia, where we are safeguarding their habitat and nesting beaches, as well as working towards more sustainably managed fisheries.

WHO ARE FFI?

Fauna & Flora International (FFI) is the world’s oldest international conservation charity. Over the last 100 years, we have been on almost every frontline of conservation and literally saved species from extinction. We work to protect plants and animals around the globe – never wasting enormous sums of money on excessive publicity or silly gimmicks – instead spending 94% of our income on charitable activities.

If you value the natural world – if you think it should be protected for its own sake as well as humanity’s – then please support Fauna & Flora International.
Sir David Attenborough OM FRS Vice-president and FFI member since 1959