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Caribbean Conservation Corporation Newsletter - page 9 / 16





9 / 16

from Short Course on page 3

Attendees included: Isaias Majil, park ranger at the Bacalar Chico Marine Reserve National Park, Belize; Danny Rankin, originally from Tortuguero, Costa Rica, now a fisherman in Limón and president of the Portete and Cieneguita (Limón) Fishermen's Association; Wilson Reyes, volunteer beach monitor at San Miguel Beach in Guanacaste, Costa Rica, for the Regional Sea Turtle Restoration Project; Frida Stwolinsky, social worker for the Fundación Mario Dary working at the Manabique Peninsula, Caribbean coast of Guatemala; Hermann Dieseldorff, university student and field work chief in the IUCN Mangrove Project, Pacific coast of Guatemala; Samy Fonseca, consultant and program coordinator for the environmental organization FUCAGUAin Trujillo, Hondu- ras; Juan Pablo Lino, ranger coordinator for the environ- mental group PROLANSATE in Tela, Honduras; Bradford Deras, boat captain, diver and volunteer with the Bay Islands Conservation Association in Utila, Honduras; William McCoy, fisher and data collector on the sea turtle

Sebastian Troëng orients the group of participants before a nest excavation exercise.

fishery, Pearl Lagoon, Nicaragua; Winston Martínez, sea turtle butcher and data collector on the sea turtle fishery, Puerto Cabezas, Nicaragua; Raily Reynales, síndico (elected community natural resource manager), from the Miskito village of Awastara, Nicaragua; Melvin Wilson, fishery inspector for the Ministry of Natural Resources, Tasba Paunie, Nicaragua; Arcadio Castillo, Kuna Indian researcher formerly with the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, now volunteering with the Kuna organization Fundación Osiskun, Kuna Yala, Panama; and, Javier Lijo, conservation offical for Fundación PROMAR of Bocas del Toro, Panama.

Many of the trainees represented different stakeholder groups that are making use of the same populations of sea turtles, particularly green, leatherback, hawksbill and olive ridley turtles. The course afforded these individuals an opportunity to share their perspectives on conservation and use of these species.

Based on the population biology class taught by guest lecturer Cathi Campbell, participants evaluated the effectiveness of different management strategies using various candies to represent different turtle age classes in population modeling exercises.

The course consisted of lectures, hands-on techniques demonstrations, field work, group projects, trainee presenta- tions, and visits to nearby points of interest. The trainees were introduced, many of them for the first time, to scien- tific methodology and field study techniques, use of popula- tion modeling as a tool to evaluate management strategies, use of computers for data management and as a means of accessing information from Internet sources, participatory education techniques, and ecotourism as a form of sustain- able development.

Course evaluations indicated that the trainees were extremely satisfied with the organization of the course and the caliber and content of their instruction. Course exams provided at the beginning and end of the course demon- strated that there had been a high level of information assimilation by the trainees.

Text and Photos By Cindy Taft, CCC Director of International Programs

During a track survey technique exercise, a turtle that had been flipped by poachers and hidden in the vegetation was discov- ered. After the group examined her, the turtle was released unharmed.

Winter 2000


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