In one of the world’s great barrier reef systems called Glover’s Reef Atoll located in Belize, a new generation of threatened hawksbill sea turtles is thriving.
Hawksbill turtlles are on critically endangered species list according to reports from the Wildlife Conservation Society (WSC). Humans are the main cause of their depletion. Their eggs are still consumed and eaten around the world despite their international protected status. Sadly, they are often killed for their flesh and stunning shells.
WSC worked with the Belize Fisheries Department and other local stakeholders to initiate a conservation plan for the site. The hawksbill sea turtle were the lucky species that were selected for conserving the larger seascape.
WCS Belize Country Director Nicole Auil Gomez, WCS Belize Country Director states, “Once these young hawksbills mature they leave the Atoll and can travel incredible distances.” The thriving Hawksbill turtles are a wonderful success story for the government and the people of Belize.
Results of a study conducted by the WCS found that the abundance of juvenile hawksbill turtles was estimated to be more than 1,000. The study also determined that the probability of survival for the hawksbills was reassuringly high. This is excellent news and another reason for optimism about the persistence of sea turtles at Glover’s Reef Atoll.
“This is great news on two levels: the discovery of a robust population of juvenile hawksbill sea turtles means a brighter future for this highly endangered species, and the protections afforded this population within the Glover’s Reef Atoll once again demonstrates the importance and effectiveness of well-managed marine protected areas,” said Jason Patlis, the WCS’s Director for Marine Conservation.