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TIDE Raising Awareness for Endangered Sea Turtles

*This week, Belize joins the world environmental community in celebrating Sea Turtle Week. In celebration, the *Toledo Institute for Development and Environment, TIDE, is raising awareness on sea turtles since they are endangered. In Belize, many turtles, nest on a beach in the Port Honduras Marine Reserve. However, the hatchlings are under threat from predators, beach erosion and inundation. TIDE’s Terrestrial* Manager Mario Muschamp explains what TIDE is doing to save the baby turtles.

Mario Muschamp, Terrestrial Manager, TIDE

Mario Muschamp, Terrestrial Manager, TIDE: “This is actually one of the better nesting sites for turtles here in the marine reserve and so one of the things that we do during this time of the year is walk these beaches and look for any nesting activities and then what we will do is we try to identify the species by measuring the track from what we see in the sand and then we try to locate the nest. Once we locate the nest then we take measurements of how far that nest is from the high tide mark just to get an idea because one of the problems we’re seeing is beach erosion along these places. And so if that nest would get too close to where it can become inundated by the sea or get washed away by the sea then we need to address that. And so we try to cover the entire beach and we take GPS coordinates of every site ,every nest and then we keep monitoring that nest throughout the season. What we find happening though is there are predation happening from different species here and so that’s one way we can look at how we can possibly increase the success of these nests here along these beaches.”