By Cali Turner Tomaszewicz, Danielle DiIullo, Aly Fleming, and Michelle Lande
Marine turtles, as a group, are some of the widest ranging animals on the planet. They are adapted for almost every marine habitat from the ocean's surface to depths of up to 1000m, from one side of an ocean basin to the other and then up onto the beaches at the ocean's edge. Despite this miraculous range and flexibility, all seven species of sea turtles are threatened or endangered, some even critically. In addition, most nesting takes place in countries that lack the resources to properly protect the turtles. Fortunately, in recent decades, the world has begun to notice and efforts to promote conservation have been initiated in coastal nations around the globe.
These conservation initiatives range in scale from local community operations to international NGO projects. While nearly all efforts are well-intentioned, not all have experienced great success. Just as marine turtles' range is so broad, so are the threats that face them, making their preservation extremely challenging.
By examining a wide range of conservation projects and much of the relevant scientific literature, we have created this website as a diagnostic tool in hopes that it will aid current efforts. There are seven elements to our Diagnostic Tool that we feel have been demonstrated by many conservation groups as crucial elements of a successful conservation program. We have focused here on the socio-economic and cultural components of marine turtle conservation. We feel these are just as integral to successful conservation as basic biological principles.
1. Base foundation on local socioeconomic and cultural conditions and practices
2. Match varying scales – ecological, spatial, social
3. Harness local and external knowledge
4. Facilitate and utilize a strong, responsive legal capacity
5. Identify and address limitations
6. Promote longevity and adaptability
7. Share and learn from practices
Comments and questions may be addressed to co-author: Cali Turner TomaszewiczContact: firstname.lastname@example.org - Will also be available at the 2011 ISTS.
Other co-authors:, Dani DiIullo, Aly Fleming and Michelle Lande
Created as a graduate project at Scripps Institution of Oceanography’s Center for Marine Biodiversity and Conservation, University of California, San Diego