Join Dr. Sylvia Earle and global scientists in a letter to the Costa Rican government to reject the proposal to remove beach protections at Las Baulas National Park
Las Baulas National Park in northern Costa Rica is critical to the survival of the endangered eastern Pacific leatherback sea turtle (Dermochelys coriacea). Populations of Pacific leatherbacks have crashed by at least 95 percent over the past two decades and are not recovering. Las Baulas National Park has an exceptional global value as it provides the most important nesting site for this remaining eastern Pacific population (Schillinger et al., 2010).
Join global marine scientists by signing-on to the bottom of the letter below to reject Bill 17.383 and continue Costa Rica’s commitment to protecting the critically endangered leatherback sea turtle, preserving its national parks, and investing in the extraordinary abundance of life protected within their boundaries.
Join, Dr. Sylvia Earle, oceanographer, author, National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence, NOAA Cheif Scientist 1990-1992,
Dr. Carl Safina, acclaimed author and Director of the Blue Oceans Institute,
Dr. David Ehrenfeld, founding editor of Conservation Biology, Rutgers University,
Dr. George Shillinger, leatherback researcher, Stanford University,
We need your support today to send a strong message to new President Laura Chinchilla. It is critical that you spread this letter to your colleagues if we are to have a chance to stop this dangerous precedent to reduce Costa Rica's strong habitat protections.
RE: Law Project No. 17.383 entitled “Law to rectify the Leatherback Marine National Park’s Boundaries and Creation of Guanacaste’s Leatherback National Wildlife Refuge”
As scientists from around the world concerned with the biodiversity extinction crisis exacerbated by global climate change, we urge you to reject the proposed legislation that will downgrade the Las Baulas National Park.
In 1995 Costa Rica recognized its unique responsibility in ensuring the continued survival of the Pacific leatherback by protecting one of the last nesting beaches in the eastern Pacific and the other delicate ecosystems of Ventanas, Grande, and Langosta Beach, through the creation of Las Baulas National Park by Law. Las Baulas National Park is critical to the survival of the Pacific leatherback sea turtle (Dermochelys coriacea), declared as critically endangered by the World Conservation Union (IUCN). Populations of Pacific leatherback sea turtles have crashed by 90 percent over the past two decades and are not recovering. Today, fewer that 1,000 nesting female leatherbacks survive in the entire eastern Pacific. Las Baulas National Park has an exceptional global value as it provides the most important nesting site for this remaining eastern Pacific population.
On behalf of the undersigned scientists we are writing to urge you to reject Law Project No. 17.383 pending before the Environment Commission of the Legislative Assembly, that proposes to downgrade Las Baulas National Park to a Mixed National Wildlife Refuge and open its beaches up to coastal construction projects. With Pacific leatherback sea turtles so perilously close to extinction it is inconceivable to remove this protection and allow development in sensitive areas near the turtles’ nesting sites. Such developments will have a negative impact on the nesting process of the leatherback through lighting, additional access of people, vehicles and domestic animals, and could likely lead to the elimination of this most important population of leatherbacks. Furthermore, global climate change is expected to bring rising seas, and development behind the current nesting beaches will prevent leatherback turtles to adapt to a changing environment.
In addition, if this legislation is passed it will undermine Costa Rica's reputation as a global leader in conservation through its "Peace with Nature" initiative. This policy catapulted Costa Rica to the front of the line of countries committed to the preservation and protection of their natural resources and its longstanding commitment to the preservation of sea turtles.
Over the past few years multiple bills have been written proposing to rezone Las Baulas National Park and open its beaches up to coastal construction projects, and fortunately every one of these bills has been rejected. We urge you to do the same with bill 17.383 and continue Costa Rica’s commitment to protecting the critically endangered leatherback sea turtle, preserving its national parks, and investing in the extraordinary abundance of life protected within their boundaries.
This petition has a goal of
of 436 signatures
How important is Las Baulas ...
Tue May 21 19:37:03 EDT 2013
Fri Feb 15 16:51:05 EST 2013
Sun Dec 02 23:57:24 EST 2012
Thu Dec 09 11:10:17 EST 2010
Mon Nov 22 00:42:09 EST 2010
College of Charleston
Mon Nov 15 21:24:15 EST 2010
University of Queensland
Sun Nov 14 15:40:29 EST 2010
Ocean Futures Society
Las Baulas NP is one of many nesting beaches critical to the survival of the Eastern Pacific leatherback sea turtles. Ever nesting beach counts in helping this population recover from many threats both More....on-shore and throughout their Pacific range.
Fri Nov 12 19:42:52 EST 2010
JEAN MARIE FABIENNE
Fri Nov 12 11:58:55 EST 2010
Dept. of Earth & Ocean Sciences, University of British Columbia
Thu Nov 11 17:13:45 EST 2010
Turtle populations world-wide are negatively impacted by coastal development. Costa Rica's foresight and their proactive protection for the endangered Eastern Pacific leatherback turtles was highly commendable. More.... It is of great concern to hear that Costa Rica is considering 'going backwards' by reducing the protection of the leatherback turtle nesting habitat which could potentially result in local or species extinction. To do something harmful in ignorance is no excuse but to knowingly send a population to extinction despite knowing how to avoid or at least minimise it is unforgivable.
Wed Nov 10 18:58:48 EST 2010
Wed Nov 10 18:55:51 EST 2010
University of Tasmania
Due to it's high diversity of flora and fauna Costa Rica is a worldwide reference in conservation policies. Look around the world and the impact on biodiversity because of urbanization and efforts to attract More....tourism, benefits?... just money? Come on Costa Rica, don't screw your natural areas! There are many other ways! Think about it, once you take the decision there is no going back!
Wed Nov 10 06:48:20 EST 2010
Tue Nov 09 11:00:33 EST 2010
EBSP Turtle patrol
Important to keep this refuge
Mon Nov 08 14:37:42 EST 2010
Gerald J. Bakus
Biological Sciences, University of Southern California
Very important as a last remaining refuge.
Mon Nov 08 14:29:29 EST 2010
Mon Nov 08 11:18:55 EST 2010
Save the Turtles, Inc.
Mon Nov 08 10:46:03 EST 2010
Texas A&M University at Galveston
Mon Nov 08 07:45:44 EST 2010
Dr. John Kucklick
National Institute of Standards and Technology
Mon Nov 08 06:04:50 EST 2010
Mon Nov 08 05:50:02 EST 2010
Saint Pierre and Miquelon
The final letter will be delivered personally by local Costa Rican scientist Randal Arauz, PRETOMA director, Sea Turtle Restoration Project Board of Directors member, and 2010 Goldman Environmental prize recipient.
George L. Shillinger, Alan M. Swithenbank, Steven J. Bograd, Helen Bailey, Michael R. Castelton, Bryan P.Wallace, James R. Spotila, Frank V. Paladino, Rotney Piedra, Barbara A. Block, 2010. Identification of high-use internesting habitats for eastern Pacific leatherback turtles: role of the environment and implications for conservation.Endangered Species Reserarch, February 2, 2010, Print ISSN: 1863-5407; Online ISSN: 1613-4796.