Nesting Ecology and Public Participation for Conservation Management of the Olive Ridley Sea Turtle at Gorgona National Park – Colombia
Olive ridley female turtle.
South-western view of Palmeras Beach.
Olive ridley female turtle intercepted during nigh time surveys.
|Gorgona National Park, Cauca State||Colombia||Central and Latin America, Marine, Turtles||2 Mar 2007|
In September 2006, Diego was awarded a RSG Booster grant to develop his work.
Colombian Pacific beaches have been identified as important sea turtle nesting grounds in the Eastern Pacific (US NMFS/FWS, 1998). However, different pressures affecting the survival of the species’ are increasing at a fast pace. Today, sea turtles are listed as “Endangered” and “Critically Endangered” throughout their national distribution in the Colombian threatened species Red List (Castaño – Mora 2002).
The project will merge research techniques with social and institutional participation, to strengthen the base-line driving adaptive management decisions considered in the Gorgona’s National Park Sea Turtle Action Plan. Technical capabilities of Park’s staff, researchers and local fishermen for better management and conservation practices will be enhanced as well.
The project aims are:
1. To survey and continue tagging Olive ridleys at Gorgona National Park during the 2006 nesting season.
2. To assess incubation process of protected nests establishing the relationship between temperature and sex determination.
3. To identify threats affecting nesting Olive ridleys at Gorgona and provide recommendations to overcome them.
4. To train local people in conservation management techniques of endangered marine turtles and to launch a public awareness campaign targeting Gorgona’s National Park visitors.
Action needs to take place urgently to save sea turtles from extinction in protected areas of the Colombian Pacific. A better understanding of population trends through systematic beach surveys will provide valuable information for the conservation of nesting Olive ridleys at Gorgona National Park. According to recent studies (Amorocho 2004c; Pavia, 2006), the number of breeding females in these beaches has been underestimated, hopping to be greater as fieldwork time increases. Although results previously obtained represent a significant contribution to scientific knowledge, they turn out insufficient for sea turtle management decisions in this protected area.
This project will contribute to:
- Full fill knowledge gaps required for Olive ridley sea turtle adequate management.
- Update conservation status and identify threats for nesting colonies at Gorgona National Park.
- Aware public, government and corporate organizations in the Colombian Pacific on the plight of sea turtles.
- Produce reports, papers, and other educational material about endangered sea turtles to be disseminated among stakeholders.
- Train researchers, rangers and local people in fieldwork techniques promoting long term conservation of endangered species and their habitats.
To read about Diego's previous project http://www.ruffordsmallgrants.org/rsg/Projects/DiegoAmorocho
or for further information contact: