Marine Turtle Conservation Fund Funding in 2013
|Total Number of Grants Awarded||45|
|Total Funds Distributed Through Grants||$1,746,987|
|Total Partner Contributions Leveraged by Grants||$2,259,756|
|Total Number of Countries that Received Program Support||26|
Marine turtles are truly the ancient mariners of the world’s oceans, with ancestors dating back more than 100 million years. Once abundant, marine turtle populations now are a fraction of what they once were. Threats to marine turtles include the loss of nesting beaches to human development; harvest and poaching of turtles for their eggs, meat, and shell; man-made disasters such as oil spills; accidentally or intentional capture in fishing nets, trawls and hooks; and the degradation of grass beds and coral reefs that they rely on.
The Wildlife Without Borders - Marine Turtle Conservation Fund is working to ensure the long-term survival of these imperiled species. Because marine turtles migrate vast distances throughout the oceans, successful conservation requires close cooperation among countries sharing the same oceans. Since 2004, grant funds have been used to help partners in more than 30 countries protect marine turtles and their nesting habitats.
A 2011 Congressional appropriation of $1.7 million, which leveraged over $2.6 million in matching funds and in-kind donations, allowed the Service to fund 39 innovative marine turtle conservation projects. These include:
- Caribbean-wide: Protecting key hawksbill turtle nesting beaches throughout the Caribbean. In Panama, this includes helping to restore the population of hawksbills on Chiriqui Beach, once the largest colony in the region.
- Indonesia: Helping partners to monitor and protect West Pacific leatherback turtle nests on its most important remaining nesting site for this species.
- West Africa: Conducting aerial surveys of the world’s largest West Africa leatherback nesting site in Gabon, and working with fishermen in eight West African countries to reduce the accidental catching of sea turtles in nets.