On June 16, World Sea Turtle Day is commemorated, as a tribute to the birth of one of the pioneers in the research of these reptiles, Archie Carr and of course, an opportunity to highlight the importance in the conservation of animals that are They are threatened in multiple ways by human activity, such as sea turtles.

Thinking about sea turtles, without a doubt does not transfer to warm and tropical places, Galapagos for example, is the second most important stage for the development of these reptiles. Only the waters of the Marine Reserve, rich in nutrients thanks to the confluence of four hot and cold currents, are home to more than 2,900 marine species, 25% of which are endemic, and four species of sea turtles.

One of them is the green turtle (Chelonia mydas), a species that, in its juvenile stage, is mainly associated with areas with the presence of marine vegetation near the coast, such as bays, islands and protected coasts.

Historically, the green turtle is described in several aggregation sites, meaning that they gather at one site for a purpose. Galapagos is home to the second most important nesting colony in the region. It also provides numerous feeding sites for this species throughout the archipelago.

Despite the protection provided by the “Marine Reserve”, in Galapagos there are still some threats to the species, where the interaction with fisheries and the impact of boats are the most worrying.

Like many countries in Central and South America, economic development in Galapagos is geared towards ecotourism, and its potential continues to grow. In the last decade, the number of visitors to the islands has increased dramatically, generating an increase in marine traffic, which has resulted in interactions between vessels and marine fauna.

Despite these complications, Galapagos, in order to care for and protect planet earth, contributing to the protection of its ecosystem, is also the cradle of projects that seek the protection of Sea Turtles. In this context, Ecology Project International, the Galapagos National Park and the Charles Darwin Foundation work together to reduce the impact on green sea turtles, since from 2002 to the present, impacts have been observed in 12% of the females nesting on the main nesting beach (Quinta Playa) of the archipelago. In addition to this, there are numerous reports of turtle mortality due to injuries from boat collisions, pollution and the characteristic of tourism traffic.

The main objective of the project, led by the Charles Darwin Foundation, is to develop an economically sustainable solution to reduce the threats to sea turtles related to marine transit, through community participation, scientific research and improvement of transportation practices. marine and tourism, combining the economic expectations of the community with conservation priorities.

In this context, since 2015, the Ecology Project International Program of Ecology, is used to support the execution of educational undertakings of schools in the province of Galapagos, within its Student Participation Program, in a framework of collaboration between the Directorate of the Galapagos National Park, the Education District and Ecology Project International (EPI), where students fulfill a number of hours of service necessary as part of their baccalaureate program.

And for its part, the Galapagos National Park, undertakes a program of continuous monitoring of sea turtles to collect scientific data, a process of utmost importance, since thanks to its work it has been possible to know the life span of the species, sites of nesting, nesting trend, sites of aggregation of males and juvenile population, migratory routes and other data, which serve the objective of protection at the international level as it is a highly migratory species.