The Eastern Pacific leatherback sea turtle is critically endangered with an estimated 633 adults remaining. Given the dire status of the world’s largest turtle, every individual counts! Over the past two years, Paso Pacífico has led a program called SmART (Save Marine Turtles) aimed at protecting leatherbacks and other threatened sea turtles along Nicaragua's Pacific coast.
Leatherbacks often nest alone as “solitary nesters” at locations up and down the coast, and the timing and location of the nesting activity can be difficult to predict. Therefore, Paso Pacífico recruited community leaders and hotel partners from seven beaches to participate in sea turtle monitoring as well as leadership training led by our partners at the Creative Action Institute.
The Turtle Conservancy supports Paso Pacífico's efforts in Nicaragua to save the leatherback sea turtle. Funds raised by the TC support the hiring of local rangers, building leatherback sea turtle hatcheries, and patrolling beaches for nesting females. Community members in this program have successfully protected 8 leatherback nests! In addition, 3 hawksbill turtle nests and over 50 green turtle and 200 olive ridley turtle nests were protected!