Mangrove reforestation, restoration, or rehabilitation involves planting mangrove seedlings or propagules to restore or re-establish mangrove forests in areas where they have been degraded or lost.
THE IMPORTANCE OF MANGROVE REFORESTATION FOR SEA TURTLE CONSERVATION
Mangrove reforestation is beneficial for sea turtles for several reasons:
Nesting Sites: Mangroves provide a suitable nesting site for sea turtles, especially the critically endangered hawksbill turtles. Female sea turtles flock to mangrove estuaries to lay their eggs, where the dense vegetation offers protection from predators, and their tangled root systems stabilize the sand, preventing nest erosion and increasing egg protection.
Shelter and Protection: Some hatchlings and juvenile sea turtles spend a significant portion of their early lives in coastal areas, including mangrove forests. They, and many other animal species, choose this ecosystem because it is an ideal nursery habitat. The complex network of mangrove roots, branches, and canopies provides shelter, protection from predators, ample food resources, and hiding places for them to grow.
Food Sources: Mangrove ecosystems support diverse marine life, including small fish, crustaceans, mollusks, etc. It is an ideal breeding and feeding area for many species, including sea turtles, because it provides a rich food source to forage and sustains their population.
Water Quality: Mangroves are crucial in maintaining water quality in coastal areas. They act as natural filters, trapping sediments, pollutants, and excess nutrients from the land before they reach the sea. By doing so, mangroves help to maintain healthy and productive marine ecosystems. Clean and healthy coastal waters benefit sea turtles by providing suitable habitats and reducing the risk of diseases.
Climate Change Mitigation: Mangroves are highly efficient in capturing carbon dioxide (CO2) from the atmosphere and storing it in their biomass and sediments. This contributes significantly to mitigating the effects of climate change by reducing concentrations of greenhouse gases. In turn, sea turtles benefit since a healthy ecosystem is essential for their survival and that of other species.
Mangrove reforestation benefits for sea turtles is one aspect of a comprehensive conservation approach.
HOW SUPPORTING MANGROVE REFORESTATION IS CRUCIAL FOR BYCATCH REDUCTION
When supporting mangrove reforestation activities, we not only help the conservation of critical habitats for sea turtles but also support alternative economic activities to fishing for coastal communities, fishers, and their families.
This aids in reducing fishing pressure as the primary income source for the community. When fishing pressure is reduced, fishers can decide to decrease their fishing time and, as a result, also reduce sea turtle bycatch.
Furthermore, healthy mangrove ecosystems stabilize shorelines, protect coastal communities from storms, and nurture the growth and recruitment of larvae and juvenile species important to fisheries.
The mangrove reforestation projects we support are grass-root initiatives born and nurtured within the fishing communities that know and understand the importance of preserving these habitats.
The communities we support have also participated and have been vital actors for years in activities for the conservation of sea turtles in their region.
GET TO KNOW THE COMMUNITY PROJECTS WE SUPPORT
The De la Toba family are the lighthouse keepers of Cabo San Lázaro; they collaborate in scientific research of various marine species, reforest mangroves, and carry out recreational trips with tourists.