Marine Turtles

Worldwide, sea turtle populations face severe threats from the poaching of turtle eggs, incompatible coastal development, and destructive fishing practices.

The eastern Pacific is recognized globally for its marine turtle habitat and is home to vulnerable and endangered species such as hawksbill, leatherback, olive ridley, and green turtles. We are leveraging more than a decade of marine turtle conservation work in Nicaragua to support recovery of sea turtle populations in El Salvador.

We work with Salvadoran partners ProCosta and the Eastern Pacific Hawksbill Initiative (ICAPO) to protect critically endangered hawksbill turtles at Jiquilisco Bay, one of two primary hawksbill nesting sites in the region. Our collaboration centers on deepening ProCosta’s local hawksbill conservation network, comprised largely of former egg poachers and artisanal fishing communities.

Hawksbills are critically endangered globally, with fewer than 700 adult females estimated in the region, and 90% of known nesting occurring in El Salvador and Nicaragua. Threats include destructive fishing practices, harvest of turtle eggs, and degradation of nesting and marine habitats. Our partners ProCosta and ICAPO have been addressing these threats over the last decade, and results for hawksbills are promising.

We are supporting targeted conservation actions at El Salvador’s Jiquilisco Bay to ensure continued success of ProCosta’s hawksbill recovery efforts, including hawksbill nest protection and hatcheries, community engagement, and turtle monitoring and research.

The eastern Pacific is a globally important habitat for marine turtles, home to many vulnerable and endangered species.