Up to 2007 no one even knew that the hawksbill turtles still existed in El Salvador. Hawksbill turtles are on the list of endangered species and it was thought they were almost extinct on the eastern Pacific Coast. That’s until a little over 100 active nests were discovered on the southeast coast of Jiquilisco Bay. The race was on to save the turtles and the local economic community became involved in this project that captured the heart of the nation.
If you have a look at all the animals on the endangered species list, they have one enemy in common – man. The crass destruction of the natural habitats these animals live, deforestation and pollution are killing off animals that have survived millions of years. Hawksbill turtles live in tropical waters around the world and the mangrove-lined estuaries of Jiquilisco are a true paradise for them.
These colorful turtles take their name after their narrow heads and sharp bird-like beaks. The beak is specially adapted so the turtles can snack on their favorite meal, sea sponges. Many types of turtles are among the endangered species of our planer. The hawksbill are among the smaller one, weighing between 100 and 200 pounds and measuring up to 3ft in height.
According to experts, there are just 15-20,000 breeding females left on Earth.
In South America, there are some 700 left, including roughly 150 living in the nests in the Bahia de Jiquilisco.
Adolfo SalumeArtiñano‘s clean environment initiatives
Saving endangered species like the hawksbill turtles would not be possible without the active participation of prominent business leaders, such as Adolfo SalumeArtiñano. Better known as FitoSalume, Mr. Artiñano, knows that he has a responsibility towards the protection of the environment in his native El Salvador, as well as in all the other South American countries where he operates. Take for instance, his Clean Technology Solutions company, which is highly invested in environmentally friendly business solutions. The clean water solutions the company offers serve a double purpose – providing purified water to millions of people and protecting the environment. The chemicals used to make water safe for human consumption make their way into the environment, and the water that animals drink. a
This is one of the reasons Adolfo SalumeArtiñano, adedicated environmental activist at heart, put a lot of money and years of work into clean water technologies.
Government initiatives are good, but not enough when it comes to environmental issues, especially one like saving the hawksbill turtles, where the whole community needs to come together. Local residents were educated to protect the nests and the turtle eggs rather than sell them for human consumption.
As FitoSalume says people need encouragement to adopt environmentally friendly attitudes and understand conservation policies. If they see that in their business leaders they’re more likely to follow their example.
The efforts of the local community paid up. The hawksbill turtles population in El Salvador is growing steadily. It will be a while until they’re no longer on the endangered species list, but with the help of the local community they will be saved.