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Pacuare Reserve NPR Feature: A mission to protect sea turtles - three decades in the making

A commitment to conservation

For more than thirty years, Pacuare Reserve staff, students, volunteers, and the local community have worked tirelessly to protect one of the most vulnerable and beloved marine animals: the sea turtle. And as highlighted in a recent NPR News interview, the efforts are paying off in big ways.

Claudio Quesada, Research and Conservation Coordinator for The Reserve, was recently featured on NPR's Here & Now program to discuss and celebrate the history of Pacuare Reserve's efforts to safeguard sea turtles from illegal harvesting, climate change, and other threats. Claudio was joined by his thirteen-year-old daughter Sara, who has been working diligently alongside him since she was four years old.

Press play to listen to their interview,

and find the full article and photos here!

What you'll hear

  • How global efforts to mitigate the illegal harvesting of sea turtle eggs begins with education.

  • The importance of sea turtles to ocean ecosystems and the world's food systems.

  • EPI's unique approach to sea turtle conservation.

  • Why it's vital to keep protecting sea turtles, despite successful conservation results.

  • Sara's point of view of The Reserve's sea turtle program, why she is following in her father's footsteps, and her most memorable sea turtle encounter.

More to the mission

Although protecting against the illegal harvesting of sea turtle eggs was one of the original purposes of Pacuare Reserve and the origin of EPI programs, its impact has resulted in sustainable jobs for locals, learning experiences for budding scientists, empowering educational experiences for youth, and protection of the surrounding forest/ecosystem.

Pacuare Reserve's unique approach of including these other opportunities, along with carefully considering how their efforts affect the ecosystem, sets them apart from typical anti-poaching efforts. "We have very strict protocols on research and conservation at Pacuare Reserve and everyone, from research assistants and staff to visitors, volunteers, and students receives this specialized training prior to assisting in the data collection and monitoring," Claudio says.

A call for community action

What does Claudio hope listeners take from the interview? "Find something that stirs you locally and get involved, we need people, we need hands, spread the word, SHARE," he says. "Look for local conservation efforts and join them where you are. If you get involved with any conservation efforts, in my experience, you’ll find a connection and a passion and that will grow!" Need some ideas to get you inspired? Check out this blog post!

“I can tell that this is the beginning of the conservation. We have been working so hard for so many years, and we are right now, seeing the first results after 30 years," Claudio says. "If we stop doing this, the situation will come back."

Help continue this success story!

  • Visit Pacuare Reserve: Observe and contribute to the sea turtle conservation efforts while enjoying all The Reserve has to offer.

  • Bring Students: Teachers and students are critical to helping The Reserve staff and researchers collect data on nesting sea turtles.

  • Donate to the efforts: Make an impact from wherever you are in the world!

Related reading and resources

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