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Colum Muccio of ARCAS

Colum Muccio of ARCAS

Colum Muccio, Dirctor of ARCAS, has kindly emailed us the latest report from ARCAS (July 2015 ARCAS Report en Espaniol). Analisis Situacional7-2015

This second update of the original Situational Analysis was prepared by Colum Muccio and Juan Manuel Perez of ARCAS, with the support of the Marine Turtle Conservation Fund of the US Fish and Wildlife Service (USF&WS-MTCF), the National Nature Conservation Fund (FONACON), and Idea Wild.

Colum says that the above-linked document Conservation of the Sea Turtle in Guatemala, July 2015 includes the 2014 results of ARCAS’s sea turtle population monitoring program carried out on the Pacific coast of Guatemala. Among the key findings:

1. The Olive Ridley population trend on the Pacific coast of Guatemala continues to rise. Under the crawl count program, we have documented an 86% increase in nesting in the Hawaii area in the last 10 years, with 1001 crawls recorded in 2004 and 1867 crawls in 2014.

2. Based on crawl counts carried out at 9 points of the Pacific coast, it is estimated that in 2014 12,754 Olive Ridley nests were laid on the south coast, representing a total of 1,181,811 eggs and an economic value of Q1,670,981 or US$219,866.

3. In 2013,  274,635 eggs of a total of 884,768 eggs laid on the Pacific coast were rescued and incubated in Guatemala hatcheries; while in 2014, 366,733 eggs of a total of 1,181,811 eggs were rescued.  Although the percentage of eggs rescued remained at 31%, due to an increase in nesting in 2014, the total of rescued eggs rose by over 25%, representing a significant increase in national capacity to manage the marine turtle resource.

4. The private sector remains a key factor in this increase, and in 2014, roughly half of all eggs buried in Guatemalan hatcheries were bought by hotels, vacation owners, and tourists, as well as through various Sponsor-a-Nest programs.

We are grateful to Colum Muccio for this uplifting news update.