FIAES PROJECT RESCUED ENDANGERED SEA TURTLE EGGS

11 APRIL 2019

The first sighting of a Baule turtle was reported on Saturday, March 30, 2019 in Playa Dorada. The nurserymen in charge of the hatchery established in the project executed by the Zoological Foundation of El Salvador (FUNZEL), collected a clutch of 72 eggs and transferred them to the corral for shelter and monitoring. On Wednesday 7 April a new specimen arrived to lay 108 more eggs.

The Baule turtle (Dermochelys coriacea) is one of the species of sea turtle classified as endangered, throughout its distribution since 1970, included in the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) in order to protect it from over-exploitation. For the last 10 years, this species has not been reported to arrive on this beach of the Salvadoran coast, since they do not appear frequently like the other species.

For FIAES, this arrival represents one of its achievements in the conservation of endangered species. "The first mating occurs after the turtle turns ten years old and it was ten years ago that a Baule turtle appeared on Playa Dorada. There is a possibility that it is a breeding product of the hatching of 10 years ago. We are struck by the fact that the females of this species mate every three or four years, they lay their eggs again on the same beaches where they were born," explained Mr. Alexánder Zaldaña, territorial coordinator of FIAES in the Los Cóbanos conservation area.

 

 
 
This Baule was found by tourists departing from a private ranch, who called the turtles of the area to mount a custody operation for the turtle and the eggs.                                                              (Video courtesy of turtles of the FIAES-FUNZEL project. )

"Contact us"

The turtles that participate in the execution of the FIAES project in Apancoyo and Playa Dorada show responsibility and commitment to the conservation of the species, so they immediately moved the eggs to the hatchery under FUNZEL's supervision. "This confirms the commitment and sustainability of FIAES alliances with communities, NGOs and local governments. They get involved and they see the importance of conserving those species," Zaldaña said.

Each season, FUNZEL technicians give training and instructions to residents of the area to have a quick response in case of sighting of Baule. The importance of protecting this species is due to the critical state of this population of chelonians.  Since 2008, FUNZEL has released 404 hatchlings of this species, a very low percentage in relation to the release rate in healthier populations, such as the Golfina turtle, with a total of 5,315,099 specimens.

DATA ON ONE ADULT BAULE SPECIES

LENGTH 

2.4 METERS 

WEIGHT

600 KILOS

CAPARAZON

HAS A RESISTANT CONSISTENCY, SIMILAR TO RUBBER OR LEATHER. IS APPROXIMATELY 4 CM THICK. COMPOSED OF STRONG, OIL-FREE CONNECTIVE TISSUE.

BIOLOGICAL FUNCTION

THIS SPECIES REGULATES THE BALANCES BETWEEN POPULATIONS OF JELLYFISH AND SCHOOLS OF FISH, AMONG OTHER ESSENTIAL FUNCTIONS FOR THE MAINTENANCE OF REEF ECOSYSTEMS.

 

Within the framework of the project executed by FUNZEL with funding from FIAES, 86% of the eggs collected are expected to hatch in order to release as many hatchlings as possible from the two clutches. A clear message that indicates that conservation actions and partnerships carried out through participatory processes, involving communities and local institutions, yield positive impacts on conservation and environmental restoration.

PHOTOGRAPHS CORTESIA

Tortugueros from the communities of Apancoyo and Playa Dorada.

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