Guest Editorial: Rivers, Beaches and Leatherback Turtles: the Case of Grande Rivière

Paul Shaw, Alana Joseph

Abstract


Grande Rivière Bay, in north-east Trinidad, is one of the world’s most important sites for the conservation of the Leatherback Turtle  (Dermochelys coriacea), a species declared critically endangered by the International Union for the  Conservation of Nature (IUCN 2012) in 2000. Grand Rivière Beach supports the highest nesting  density in the world (Wider Caribbean Sea Turtle Conservation Network 2008) and at the height of  the nesting season hundreds (with estimates of up to 300- 500) of female turtles climb onto the beach in the hours of darkness, lay their eggs and return to  the sea. As global nesting populations may have fallen as low as 26,000 to 43,000 females (US Fish  and Wildlife Service 2007), it is a key nesting site, and the nesting event is the focus of a  thriving eco-tourist industry, bringing much needed economic benefit to this remote community.

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