NICARAGUAN SEA TURTLE PROJECT

PROTECTING AND ENSURING THE SURVIVAL OF SEA TURTLES

The Nicaraguan Sea Turtle Project is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the survival of sea turtles and their habitat through advocacy, education and research. The organization was founded in 2016 by long time conservationist, Brenna and Earle Sharpe. Over the last several years the two travelled, with their three daughters, to the Emerald Coast of Nicaragua whenever possible. While spending time and immersing themselves in the local culture, it was not difficult to fall in love with this pristine and unique ecosystem.

Having beautiful coastlines, world class surfing and the amazing sense of community, Nicaragua is developing right before our eyes.

Seeing the need for conservation and balance, they set off on their mission to create NSTP, Inc. After collaborating with the Aqua Wellness Resort in Redonda Bay, they found a large population of Hawksbill sea turtles. Due to their critically endangered status, NSTP has chosen to place focus on this incredible species. The foundation is building the headquarters within Rendonda Bay. The self-sustainable research and rehabilitation center will utilize the latest in sustainable building practices. Research crews are marking and protecting nest as well as tagging nesting mothers. NSTP would like to incorporate “turtle safe” fishing nets and practices with the local fishing community. Beach and ocean cleanups are one of the most important actions we can take and part of the daily routine. NSTP is using modern conservation efforts to not only save sea turtles, but help out local communities at the same time.

Nicaraguan Sea Turtle Project

SEA TURTLES

Sea turtles are one of the Earth’s most ancient creatures. There are seven different species that can be found today and they have been swimming in the oceans for more than 100 million years! The sea turtles carapace is streamline for swimming and unlike other turtles, sea turtles cannot retract their legs or head into their shells.

HAWKSBILL SEA TURTLE

(Eretmochelys imbricate) One of the most critically endangered sea turtles, Hawksbills have been harvested and poached for the beautiful carapace near extinction. Their head is narrow with a strongly hooked beak that gives it it’s name. Their carapace has overlapping scutes and is serrated along the posterior edge. Hawksbills live mostly along coral reefs throughout the tropical oceans. Adults eat mostly sponges and nest on tropical beaches. Hawksbills play a critical role in maintaining the structure and function of coral reef ecosystems around the world.

GREEN SEA TURTLE

(Chelonia mydas) Green turtles have rounded heads and a smooth carapace. They are herbivores and eat mostly sea grasses and rooted algae. Their name comes from the greenish color of their fat, which is due to their diet of sea grasses. Green turtles range throughout the tropical and subtropical Atlantic, Pacific and Indian Oceans.

OLIVE RIDLEY SEA TURTLE

(Lepidochelys olivacea) The Olive Ridley ranges over much of the tropical Pacific, Indian and Atlantic Oceans. They eat a varied diet of crabs, jellyfish, snails, clams and some algae. Female Olive Ridley’s come
ashore in large groups called arribadas, to lay their eggs.

KEMP’S RIDLEY SEA TURTLE

(Lepidochelys kempii) Slightly larger than the Olive Ridley, they have a similar shape with a large head and powerful jaws. Their diet consist mostly of crabs, clams and snails. Despite recent successes in conservation it remains the rarest and most endangered sea turtle. Kemp’s ridleys nest in an arribada near Rancho Nuevo on the Gulf coast of Mexico.

LEATHERBACK SEA TURTLE

(Dermochelys coriacea) Leatherback sea turtles are the largest species of sea turtle. They are covered with a continuous layer of thin skin instead of a hard shell. The carapace is raised into a series of
seven longitudinal ridges. Leatherbacks can dive as deep as some whales in search of food. They eat jellyfish and range over all the oceans except the Arctic and Antarctic.

LOGGERHEAD SEA TURTLE

(Caretta caretta) The head of a Loggerhead sea turtle is large with powerful jaws. They feed throughout the water column in shallow waters and have a diet of horseshoe crabs, mollusks, crabs and other
assorted invertebrates. Loggerheads nest on beaches from southern Florida to South Carolina as well as beaches of the subtropical oceans and the Mediterranean shore.

FLATBACK SEA TURTLE

(Natator depressus) The Flatback gets its name from their flattened carapace. This is the least known sea turtle because its range is limited to the tropical waters of Australia and most of its nesting beaches are remote and undeveloped. They feed on jellyfish, sea pens and other soft-bodied bottom dwelling invertebrates.

HELP BY DONATING TODAY

With the help of donors like you, NSTP is developing new solutions to save our sea turtles. Donate now to support our important research and conservation efforts.

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