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A Global strategy for the conservation of marine turtles


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A Global strategy for the conservation of marine turtles
Physical Description:
24 p. : ill. ; 28 cm.
IUCN/SSC Marine Turtle Specialist Group
IUCN--the World Conservation Union
Place of Publication:
Gland, Switzerland
Publication Date:


Subjects / Keywords:
Sea turtles   ( lcsh )
Wildlife conservation   ( lcsh )
Turtles -- Conservation
international intergovernmental publication   ( marcgt )
non-fiction   ( marcgt )


Statement of Responsibility:
prepared by IUCN/SSC Marine Turtle Specialist Group.

Record Information

Source Institution:
Wider Caribbean Sea Turtle Network
Holding Location:
Wider Caribbean Sea Turtle Network
Rights Management:
All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier:
oclc - 34974457
lccn - 97133999
isbn - 2831702658
lcc - QL666.C536 G526 1995
ddc - 333.95/792
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The IUCN Species Survival Commission A Global Strategy for the Conservation of MarineTurtles Prepared by IUCN/SSC Marine Turtle Specialist Group


The IUCN Species Survival Commission A Global Strategy for the Conservation of MarineTurtles Prepared by IUCN/SSC Marine Turtle Specialist Group MTSG Officers Karen Bjorndal: Chairman George Balazs: Deputy Chairman Marydele Donnelly: Program Officer MTSG Executive Committee Alberto Abreu George Balazs Karen Bjorndal Debby Crouse Nat Frazer Colin Limpus Neca Marcovaldi Dimitris Margaritoulis Jack Woody


Table of Contents Introduction 1 Backgr ound and Mission of the IUCN/SSC Marine Turtle Specialist Group 5 Individual Strategies Research and Monitoring 6 Integrated Management for Sustainable Marine Turtle Populations 8 Building Capacity for Conservation, Research, and Management 10 Public Awareness, Information, and Education 12 Community Participation in Conservation 14 Regional and International Cooperation 16 Evaluation of the Status of Marine Turtles 18 Funding for Marine Turtle Conservation 20 Operation of the Marine Turtle Specialist Group 22 Appendices Suggested Guidelines for Setting Priorities 24 Names and Addresses of Strategic Planning Participants 25


1 Introduction As a group, marine turtles represent an ancient and distinctive part of the world's biological diversity, first appearing more than 100 million years ago. As recently as the 18th and 19th centuries marine turtles were very abundant, with some populations num bering well into the millions. But in the last several hundred years, we have overwhelmed the species' ability to maintain their numbers with intentional and accidental capture in fisheries, destruction of foraging, nesting and resting habitats, and, most recently, pollution of the oceans. Today, few populations of marine turtles are unaffected; most are declining, often seriously. Many are extinct. Currently, seven species are clearly re cogni zed. They include the green turtle (Chelonia mydas), loggerhead (Caretta caretta), flatback (Natator depressus), hawksbill (Eretmochelys imbricata), leatherback (Dennochelys coriacea), olive ridley (Lepidochelys ofivacea), and Kemp's ridley (Lepidochelys kempi). Many scientists also consider the distinctive 'black' turtles of the Pacific coast of the Western Hemisphere, s ometimes re ferred to as Chelonia agassizi, as an eighth species. Most species have cir cumg lobal and subtropical or tropical distributions. Marine turtles have a fascinating life history-they are l ong-lived species that mature late in life and move great distances during their lifetimes. Marine turtles are excellent navigators, frequently migrating hundreds or even thousands of kil omet ers between foraging and nesting grounds. They spend their lives at sea but return to land to reproduce. Adult females nest in multiyear cycles, coming ash ore several times to lay hundreds of eggs during a nesting season. After about 50 to 60 days of i ncubation, the hatchlings emerge and head for the ocean to begin life as pelagic drifters. While maturing over the course of several decades, they move in and out of a variety of ocean and coastal habitats. This open ocean existence often frustrates our efforts to study and conserve t hem. S urvival to adult hood is low. Presently, all species except the Australian flatback are listed in the IUCN Red List as Endangered or Vulnerable. All marine turtles are included in Appendix I of CI TES (the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora), and all species except the flatback are listed in Appendi ces I and 11 of CMS (the C onvention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals). There can be no doubt that if these magnificent animals are to be safeguarded from eventual extinction, comprehensive, focused and integrated efforts must be undertaken on a global scale. Today thousands of individuals in volunteer and gover nment-supported management and co nservation programs throughout the w orld are working to conserve marine turtles. Although marine turtles spend the majority of their time at sea, these programs primarily focus on nesting


2 beach activities, an emphasis that has resulted in large gaps in our knowledge about these animals. Furthermore, recent population modelling suggests that co nservation of eggs and hatchlings, without concurrent conservation of the older life stages, may be of limited value. Conservation efforts are also hampered by a lack of coordination on an international basis. This is unfortunate as marine turtles are under assault thr oughout their lives as they move from the wat ers of one nation to another. In June 1994, 19 members of the Marine Turtle Specialist Group of the Species Survival Commission of IUCN The World Conservation Union from 15 nations and a representative of the IUCN Secretariat met in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, with two professional strategic planners to draft a comprehensive global strategy for the conservation of marine turtles. The resulting draft was sent to all memb ers of the MTSG and selected members of the S S C for review and comment. This document, A Global Strategy for the Conservation of Marine Turtles, is the product of that session and review. The Strategy is presented in nine parallel strategies, Research and Monitoring; Integrated Management for Sustainable Marine Turtle Populations; Building Capacity for Conservation, Research, and Mana geme ntPublic Awareness, Information, and Education; Community Participation in Conservation; Regional and International Cooperation, Evaluation of the Status of Marine Turtles; Funding for Marine T urtle Conservation; and Operation of the Marine Turtle Specialist Group. Several strategies within this do cument may be considered as tools for implementing ot her strategies. For example, Funding, Building Capacity, and Com munity Participation in Conservation can be tools for implementing Inte grated Manag ement for Sustainable Marine Turtle Populations. However, each of these tools was elevated to strategy status to facilitate effective development and use for application to other strategies. The reader will also find that s ome strategies interface or overlap. This is appropriate, as the intent is a comprehensive, unified approach to marine turtle conservation and manag ement. Three recurrent th emes of the strategy session were integration of marine turtle conservation and management, the need to involve local people who utilize turtles in their conservation, and the restoration/maintenance of the roles of marine turtles in their ecosystems. These issues have been widely discussed among marine turtle conservationists for a number of years and need some clarification to avoid possible misinterpretation in the Strategy. To date, one shortcoming of activities to promote marine turtle conservation has been our failure to address conservation issues in a systematic and unified way. The concept of integrated manag ement is crucial to marine turtle conservation in several ways: 1) marine turtle management should be incorp orated into coastal management regimes to ens ure that habitat quality and ecosystem functions are maintained; 2) marine turtle management should be included at l ocal, regional and global levels so that those people directly affected


3 by management, as well as th ose who have influence over regional and global activities, are involved; and 3) management of any marine turtle species or population should be integrated across its entire geographic range so that activities in one part of the range do not undermine conservation mana gement in other areas of its range. For a number of years many people have debated whether declining populations of marine turtles should be exploited. Most recognize the significa nce of marine turtles in the cultural and social lives of many coastal people and the importance of these animals and their eggs as a source of protein. Too frequently, however, wide use by a growing human population, coupled with the migratory nature and slow rates of natural increase of these animals, has resulted in most utilization being non-sustainable. Clearly, failure to stop or reverse these declines will result in the eventual extinction of marine turtle populations. Alt hough t his Strategy recognizes that utilization of marine turtles occurs in many areas and does not oppose all use, it does not support non-sustainable use. There are many areas where complete pro tection has been necessary for the management of marine turtles, and this is an important option for conservation planning. Because there are inherent difficulties with exploitation, there is an emphasis in the Strategy on the need to involve the local people who utilize marine turtles in their conservation and mana gement. At the heart of the debate is making appropriate decisions about use, an issue which is hard to resolve given our incomplete knowledge of t hese species and the amount of time required for the effects of overexploitation to be noted. This Strategy advocates informing and involving local people in the decision-making process while continuing to base mana gement decisions on science. Marine turtles serve important functions in the ecosystems in which they are found, although the details of those functions may be hard to clarify where populations c urrently are seriously depleted. For example, seagrass beds where green turtles graze regularly are more productive, nutrients are cycled more rapidly, and the grass blades have a higher protein content, thus benefiting other species. Furthermore, s ome populations of marine turtles, wh ose feeding areas may be hundreds or even thousands of kilometers from their nesting beaches, serve an important role in nutrient cycling by transporting massive quantities of nutrients from these feeding gr ounds to typically more nutrient-poor coastal and inshore habitats in the vicinity of the nesting beaches. Without active intervention and management, marine turtle populati ons are expected to continue to decline to extinction. With the resulting loss of pr oductivity within marine ecosystems, we can expect a resulting decline in quality of life for human pop ulations dependent on coastal ecosystems. To avoid confusion over the definition of terms, we employ the IUCN definitions used in the document Caring for the Earth: A Strategy for Sustainable Living (IUCN The World Conservation Union, UNEP United Nations Envir onment Pro gram, and World Wide


4 Fund for Nature, Gland Switzerland, October 1991). The terms and their definitions are: conservation: the management of human use of organisms or ecosystems to ensure such use is sustainable. Besides sustainable use, conservation includes protection, maintenance, rehabilitation, restoration, and enhanc ement of popu lations and ecosystems. biological diversity: the variety of life in all its forms, levels and combinations. Includes ecosystem diversity, species diversity, and genetic diversity. ecosystem: a system of plants, animals, and other organisms together with the non-living components of the enviro nment. sustai nability: a characteristic of a process or state that can be maintained indefinitely. Many of the issues and actions outlined in this Strategy may be outside the purview of the Marine Turtle Specialist Group (MTSG) to impl ement. Likewise, all mem bers of the MTSG serve on a voluntary basis, so readers of this Strategy and members of the MTSG should be aware that the MTSG cannot carry out all the actions indicated even t hough t hese activities are necessary to effect marine turtle re covery. However, the MTSG is an important catalyst and can serve to galvanize action. Responsibilities for impl ementing many of these acti ons may lie with local nongovernmental organizations or gover nment management agencies. In these cases, the MTSG sees its role primarily as providing expert advice, encouragement and facilitation, and we urge local and state organizations and agencies to impl ement the necessary actions identified here.


5 Background of the MarineTurtle Specialist Group The Marine Turtle Specialist Group was founded in 1966 in response to a growing rec ognition of the endangered status of marine turtles. Sir Peter Scott asked Archie Carr to chair the group and appoint group members. Archie Carr remained the chairman until 1984, when he stepped down, and Grenville Lucas-then Chairman of SSC-appointed Karen Bjorndal as chairman. Tom Harrisson, Nicholas Mrosovsky, George Balazs and Karen Bjorndal served as either co-chairman or deputy chairman with Archie Carr. Karen Bjorndal has worked with two deputy chairmen: G. Stanley de Silva and George Balazs. The MTSG was a small group, ranging from 15 to 30 members, until 1990, when the membership was expanded to over 150 members. Today, membership is nearly 200 with individuals from 47 countries. During Archie Carr's chairmanship, the MTSG operated with a minimum of structure. Peter Pritchard served as Coordinator of Marine Turtle Conservation Programs from 1969 to 1973. In response to the larger size of the group, an Executive Committee composed of the chairman, deputy chairman and seven members was appointed in 1993. In 1994, Marydele Donnelly became Program Officer under support provided by an an onymous donor to the MTSG through the efforts of the Center for Marine Conservation (Washington, DC). Mission The IUCN/SSC Marine Turtle Specialist Group exists to develop, support, and implement programs which promote the restoration and survival of healthy marine turtle populations that fulfill their ecological roles. We accomplish this by: 1. Ensuring that the conservation of marine turtles is guided by the biological constraints of the animals and the best scientific information available. 2. Conserving and managing natural resources and habitats that are fundamental for marine turtles. 3. Emphasizing management for long-term survival of the species. 4. Recognizing that marine turtles are a shared international resource. 5. Involving local communities in conservation management. 6. Seeking assistance and support from people and organizations interested in conserving marine turtles. 7. Integrating local, regional, national, and international efforts through advisement and advocacy. 8. Helping to build capacity of concerned authorities to conserve marine turtles. 9. Adopting and advocating innovative methods.


6 Strategy: Research and Monitoring Situation: Gaps currently exist in our knowl edge of marine t urtle population dynamics, life histories, and threats. These gaps lessen or prevent effective conservation mana gement. In addition, the limited dissemination of results from research and monitoring activities contrib ute to duplication of effort and loss of collaborative and coordinated opportunities. Risk: Gaps in our knowledge of marine turtle biology will continue to hamper mana gement and recovery efforts. Both research and mana gement activities may focus on nonessential issues, while failing to act on essential and critical issues. Lack of understanding will lead to uninformed and inappropriate decision-making. Desired state: Coordinated research and monitoring programs w ill be based on population identification and knowledge of population distribution, size, and trends. Reliable estimates of growth rates, fecundity, and mortality rates and factors at each life history stage can be used to make better-informed, more effective mana gement decisions. Improved und erstanding of marine turtle ecological roles will contribute to better integrated coastal manag ement. An inte grated data base compatible with Geographic Information Systems (GIS) will facilitate more rapid, comprehensive management decisions. Reg ular, ongoing monitoring of key parameters of population function will allow assessment of the success or failure of various mana gement practices, and permit more realistic estimates of the ability of populations to sustain various levels of loss. Regular c ommuni cation between researchers and managers will facilitate both research and management decisions. Action arenas and priority issues: Address critical knowledge deficiencies of marine turtle biology identify critical deficiencies, a preliminary list includes: o mortality rates at each life history stage with particular attention to the aquatic stages o population structure Green turtles basking ashore at French Frigate Shoals, Hawaiian Islands. Turtle on left carries a radio transmitter to allow satellite tracking of oceanic migrations


7 growth rates age at first reproduction and repr oductive longevity population identification, including geographic distribution, habitat utilization and migratory routes fibropapillomas and other diseases (causes and treatment) population modelling regulating mechanisms (nutritional, hormonal) critical habitats review historic data relevant to conservation management of marine turtles by populations and regions to elucidate population trends and verify population models facilitate specific research to address deficiencies as identified, by: advocating for research addressing priority issues advocating for revision of research permitting process and issuance of permits where necessary Ensure availability of appropriate and compatible data for formulating effective conservation management produce manuals of guidelines and techniques, including a list of critical deficiencies, by conducting workshops or commissioning a task force train personnel at regional and national levels in met hodolo gies for collection, storage and analysis of compatible, high quality data by: providing model training programs for specialized tasks identifying institutions and venues that can offer appropriate training facilitate the establis hment of regio nal databases by: identifying existing databases encouraging sharing and linking of data bases establishing new databases in Geographic Information System compatible formats facilitate sharing of regional expertise and data by developing and distributing a database of persons and institutions involved and interested in marine turtle conservation Increase understanding of ecological roles of marine turtles promote i ncreased research into the ecological roles of marine turtles by: summarizing current knowledge of roles in energy and nutrient flows, habitat impact and interspecific interactions advocating research to further elucidate these roles Regularly monitor key population parameters and trends monitor and provide information on population trends in a form usable by managers facilitate establis hment of specific national/regional monitoring programs to assess management success and guide future manag ement by pre paring a database of existing programs and advocating the establis hment of programs w here there are deficiencies review the conservation status and trends of seriously depleted species and populations Green turtle with life-threatening tumors known as fibropapillomas


8 Olive ridley shells outside former slaughterhouse in Mexico Strategy: Integrated Management for Sustainable Marine Turtle Populations Situation: Current manag ement for sea turtle conservation includes inappropriate or out moded methodologies. Lack of enf orcement of existing l aws and regulations contributes to poor management. Additionally, the l ack of coordination across an entire species' or population's geographic range may result in one country's management and co nservation efforts inadvertently being negated by activities affecting the same species in another country or region. Risk: While many current efforts to conserve marine turtles will continue, their ultimate effectiveness in many cases will be h ampered by non-performance of appropriate manag ement, the performance of inappropriate manag ement, and the pr obability that the beneficial effects of many marine turtle mana gement ef forts may be negated by inappropriate mana gement in other parts of the species' or population's range. Desired state: Adequate, appropriate manag ement of marine turtle populations, their associated habitats, and coastal ecosystems will result in the re covery of marine turtle populations and lead to their sustainability. People benefit from fully functional marine and coastal ecosystems which include healthy marine turtle populations. Action arenas and priority issues: Reduce mortality due to: fisheries bycatch (trawls, longlines, gillnets, etc.) egg harvest turtle harvests (for subsistence and trade) pollution and debris (including lost and discarded fishing gear)


9 disease and fibropapillomas unintentional non-fishing mortality (boat propellers, dredges, etc.) Increase habitat protection and management identify and designate/acquire critical marine turtle habitat incorporate marine turtle conservation needs into integrated coastal manag ement programs protect marine turtle habitats on land from degradation due to coastal devel opment, including industry, agriculture, urban growth, highways, sand mining, and tourism conserve/manage marine turtle feeding, migration, mating, and resting habitats from degradation due to destructive fishing practices, pollution, debris, global warming, and other factors Produce new management techniques manual and develop training courses to identify and disseminate guidelines for responsible rookery management, including: hatchery/incubation techniques (handling, sex ratio, release of hatchlings, etc.) policy on headstarting managed egg harvests predator controls light pollution egg and hatchling transfers between rookeries, restocking Facilitate integrated management through regional and international cooperation and coordination promote regi onal manag ement plans and participation in international treaties promote s haring of data/expertise Advocate legislation/enforcement sensitive to marine turtles establish international liaisons, evaluate treaties and legislation (including trade), provide legislative advice advocate integration and enforc ement of existing legislation oppose those actions that do not comply with sound principles for sustained manag ement support local, regional, and international efforts that benefit marine turtles Top: Subadult loggerhead entangled in a net Above: Cooking leatherback eggs in Amerindian village,


10 Strategy: Building Capacity for Conservation, Research and Management Situation: In many parts of the world marine turtle conservation is h ampered by few or no training opportunities, inadequate formal education, insufficient knowledge of or access to te chnology and its applications, and meager institutional capacity. Risk: Failure to address the devel opment of l ocal institutions and training will perpetuate major gaps in our understanding of global marine turtle biology and conservation and pr event the local evolution of professional opportunities and institutions involved with marine turtle conservation. Desired state: The devel opment of appropriately t rained national and local personnel, professionals, and local institutions worldwide to effect marine turtle conservation, research and management. Action arenas and priority issues: Facilitate training opportunities organize and impl ement training courses develop scholarship program for higher education establish fund for training and meeting participation promote internship program catalyze international exchange programs organize regional study tours Provide management tools review and distribute information on standard management techniq ues prepare and distribute beach manag ement kits with standard equi pment and instructions facilitate establis hment of a fund to s ubsidize equi pment acquisition Establish small grants fund for research Provide information about data base management identify a model data manag ement s ystem for distribution organize data manag ement training workshops Turtle biology and conservation training course, Costa Rica


11 Facilitate the compilation and distribution of reference materials, including books, reprints, slides, and videos Facilitate use of the Online Sea Turtle Bibliography and the Marine Turtle Newsletter Support development of networks support existing networks provide guidelines for network mana gement facilitate seed funding for network establis hment and communication Students being trained in turtle data collection, Guyana


12 Strategy: Public Awareness, Information, and Education Situation: The recent blossoming of education and public awareness efforts on behalf of marine turtles worldwide is in need of improved coordination, enhanced quality of execution, and increased activities. Risk: Public failure to understand and care about marine turtles and their needs will result in fewer options to conserve these species. Desired state : Universal appreciation of the value of marine turtles and the need to conserve them, with special emphasis on coastal communities and the resource users, will result from public awareness and education efforts. Both attitudes and actions will influence marine turtle conservation positively. Action arenas and priority issues: Establish MTSG Environmental Education Task Force • appoint leader € identify members Identify and promote six successful environmental education models • support exchanges € produce materials € disseminate information • highlight these examples in the appropriate fora Local Nahua children and turtle camp worker with black turtle in Michoacan, Mexico


13 Improve quality and execution of education efforts archive existing educational materials improve existing educational materials disseminate succinct marine turtle fact sheets develop new educational materials, including information about marine turtle ecosystems and local coastal cultures information about marine turtle ecosystems and local coastal cultures develop model i nterpretive materials Improve coordination encourage worldwide electronic network, such as CTURTLE, an Internet listserver discussion group exchange materials encourage local, regional, and international meetings collaborate with existing marine and coastal education and information programs and networks Expand/increase educational programs obtain seed funding for new programs integrate information on marine turtles into public s chool curricula communicate with textbook edit ors educate politicians, government offici als, and administrators on all levels identify key target groups, including children, adults, and business men and develop specific literature for them Expand involvement with mass media hold workshops for educators and media experts develop sample press releases Train talented educators identify talented educators conduct training pr ograms organize international educational exchanges Turtle education program, Guatemala


14 Strategy: Community Participation in Conservation Situation: Local com munit ies associated with marine turtles and their habitats are often a strong force in the depletion of marine turtle populations and the destruction of their habitats. Where management projects have excluded rural people as agents in conservation, unsustainable management pl ans have sometimes resulted. Risk: Unsustainable use of marine turtles and the destruction of their habitats will continue. Lack of understanding and involv ement will lead to l ack of s upport for conservation activities. Inappropriate conservation strategies will contribute to socioe conomic and cult ural degradation. Desired state: Encourage marine turtle recovery mana gement plans that address and include the political, e conomic, and cult ural conditions of coastal people affected by mana gement actions and promote, wh ere appropriate, the active participation of these com munities in m arine turtle conservation. Promote grassroots moveme nts leading towards self-suffici ency. Action arenas and priority issues: Promote and facilitate the participation of coastal communities in conservation, research, and management identify and promote suc cessful examples and examine unsuccessful ones facilitate model development and transfer facilitate integration of local people into ongoing projects facilitate training programs for local researchers Fish-catcher in Guyana collaborating in data collection with accidentally caught leatherback prior to its release


15 Improve information base of coastal communities facilitate education programs in community ties facilitate training programs for community memb ers (including visits to other com munity projects) compile and disseminate resource materials promote infor mation networks among communities and information so urces Promote and facilitate conservation as an integral part of community development promote en vironmental sustainability and economic self-sufficiency at the community level reinforce internal structure of com munity promote avenues for direct benefit to local communit ies promote l ocally owned and operated efforts Identify and promote economic alternatives to exploitation and economic incentives to conserve marine turtles (e.g., ecotourism, handicrafts) identify and disseminate examples, opportunities, and approaches, including alternate sources of food and liveli hood Develop policy, guidelines, and monitoring mechanisms for community participation in conservation programs Facilitate establishment of small grants program for activities at the community level establish criteria identify funding sources (including devel opment agencies) and disseminate information facilitate and/or review proposals for grants provide seed funding Burying turtle eggs in the school's hatchery is a conservation activity undertaken in Barra de Santiago, El Salvador


16 Strategy: Regional and International Cooperation Situation: Marine turtles are highly migratory and utilize the waters of more than one country in their lifetimes. Within a region, conservation efforts for turtle populations in one country may be jeopardized by activities in another country. Thus, cooperation among range countries is critical to ensure the survival of marine turtles. Agreements addressing protection of marine turtles on the high seas are needed. Risk: Lack of cooperative regional efforts will lead to ineffective turtle management, socioeconomic and cultural degradation, and the waste and misuse of limited human and financial resources. Desired state: Range countries endorse and support international agreements and efforts which recognize that marine turtles are shared resources requiring both cooperative conservation efforts and the sustained implementation of effective programs and projects. Action arenas and priority issues: Encourage national governments, regional and international organizations/fora to develop and support national and regional programs for long-term conservation of marine turtles and their habitats promote technical assistance and support to regional marine turtle conservation and management programs and regional initiatives Promote full implementation of CITES, the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora identify interested parties on local, national and international bases facilitate CITES workshops and standard law enforcement workshops for enforcement personnel promote development of educational materials to stop illicit activities under CITES, e.g., international trade in marine turtle eggs and shells Promote international regional agreements for marine turtles under CMS, the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals, that provide for coordinated species and habitat conservation measures, cooperative research and monitoring, information exchange and educational activities prioritize regions needing international agreements facilitate the drafting of international agreements, encouraging local participation through workshops, etc. identify governments, institutions and individuals to draft and promote agreements nationally and regionally through regional meetings, exchange programs etc. promote full implementation of CMS, including monitoring of domestic taking of marine turtles inconsistent with CMS obligations, efforts to conserve/restore habitat, and efforts to prevent, reduce, or control factors endangering marine turtles


17 Evaluate other existing treaties, agreements, and cooperative programs, such as the Bern and Barcelona Conventions, and promote international agreements where appropriate recommend changes as needed participate in selected treaties and programs as appropriate assist the establishment and implementation of additional cooperative programs promote full implementation of applicable treaties and cooperative programs Work with the United Nations and UN bodies such as UNEP/CMS to develop and implement agreements addressing the protection of marine turtles on the high seas Facilitate the drafting of new international agreements as needed prioritize regions needing international agreements and identify criteria/guidelines for selection identify drafters, facilitate local participation, and produce first draft identify individuals and institutions to promote agreements nationally and regionally by conducting regional meetings and facilitating exchange programs Monitor, evaluate, and make recommendations to relevant treaties and ongoing programs identify task force to monitor, evaluate and make recommendations set evaluation standards Researcher observes nesting hawkbill's return to the sea in India


18 Strategy: Evaluation of the Status of MarineTurtles Situation: Revisions in the criteria by which IUCN The World Conservation Union -and CITES, the Convention on Int ernational Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, designate the status of species have recently occurred. It is not known whether these revised criteria are appropriate for marine turtles. Status designations under other conventions and treaties should be reviewed regularly. Risk: Marine turtles may be incorrectly assigned to status categories by IUCN, CITES and other treaties either because the criteria are inappropriate for marine turtles or because we have insufficient data for analysis. Desired state: Accurate designation of marine turtles under appropriate criteria. Action arenas and priority issues: Decide whether to assign marine turtle status at species or population level for IUCN and CITES categories Determine necessary parameters for evaluation of species or populations under IUCN and CITES criteria population size generation time population trends quantitative population analysis (e.g., population modelling) Determine status of each species or population under new IUCN criteria Determine status of each species or population under new CITES criteria Evaluate appropriateness of IUCN criteria for marine turtles. If inappropriate, work to improve Evaluate appropriateness of CITES criteria for marine turtles. If inappropriate, work to improve Ensure MTSG continues its major role in assigning IUCN status designations to marine turtles Compile data on marine turtles worldwide to determine global status Investigate options within CMS, the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals, to provide for Students participating in leatherback tagging Guyana


19 long-term sustainable management of marine turtles in selected Range States. If appropriate, develop guidelines Assess status of marine turtles in other international conventions, treaties and in national legislation. Evaluate the criteria used to designate status of marine turtles Review status designations at intervals that are appropriate for each convention/ treaty Nesting Kemp's ridley, Rancho Nuevo, Mexico


20 Strategy: Funding for Marine Turtle Conservation Situation: Limited core funds need to be a ugmented to promote cons ervation of marine turtles and s upport MTSG professional staff Risk: Inadequate funding will limit the impl ementation of A Global Strategy for the Conservation of Marine Turtles and seriously i mpede efforts to manage marine turtle populations on a sustainable basis. Without additional funding the MTSG will lose its fulltime coordinator and opportunities to implement eff ective conservation programs. Desired state: Sufficient funding will s upport real progress in the conservation and manag ement of marine turtles and maintain MTSG professional staff Action arenas and priority issues: Identify available sources of funds, including: global envir onmental institutions governmental sources non-governmental sources Collaborate with other SSC/IUCN groups on funding develop multi-species proposals include marine turtles in larger project proposals Loggerhead hatchlings heading for the ocean, USA


21 Facilitate local, national, and regional fundraising activities provide information on Global Environment Facility (GEF) funding opportunities to national contacts share successful fundraising models assist proposal development undertake proposal review identify foundations and other funders that require incountry initiatives assist/secure funding for approved activities Maintain MTSG professional staff establish funding requirements obtain fundraising/development training for Program Officer Flatback turtle in Australia


22 Strategy: Operation of the Marine Turtle Specialist Group Situation: The MTSG must become increasingly effective and efficient in capitalizing on opportunities provided by recent financial support for a Program Officer and increased activities. Risk: A poorly functioning group will lose opportunities to provide expertise and support for issues and projects. Desired state: The MTSG should be an efficient and effective organization with a strong feeling of group identity. This will strengthen marine turtle conservation and research programs. Action arenas and priority issues: Improve internal communication encourage electronic (Internet) communication distribute MTSG Bulletin encourage worldwide and regional meetings of MTSG test software to translate MTSG Bulletin and other documents into other languages identify willing translators within MTSG membership Improve external communication encourage use of CTURTLE (Internet listserver discussion group) create MTSG fact sheet for members to distribute to governments, newspapers, and non-governmental organizations Loggerhead turtle emerging from a Turtle Excluder Device (TED) installed in a shrimp net


23 mail MTSG Strategy, A Global Strategy for the Conservation of Marine Turtles, to major organizations encourage members to distribute MTSG Strategy Strive to incorporate members from all regions and appropriate disciplines identify under-represented regions and/or countries and strive to appoint members from those areas be open to members from all appropriate disciplines Secure permanent position for Program Officer and address other professional staff needs as appropriate Draft guidelines and terms of reference for MTSG members to complement the SSC's A Member's Guide develop membership roles and responsibilities identify appropriate use of MTSG affiliation develop system for drafting, approving, and disseminating MTSG positions and position papers Increase delegation of tasks to MTSG members by MTSG Chair, with advice of Executive Committee and Program Officer appoint task forces to deal with specific issues delegate tasks to individual members Improve system for appointment and reappointment of MTSG members


24 Appendices Suggested Guidelines for Setting Priorities 1. Significance of Issue level of criticality universality/broadness of application 2. Risk or Threat to Population degree of urgency for action degree of threat to population/species 3. Contribution to Long-term Conservation level of integration in approach magnitude of contribution to capacity building level of involvement of local people degree of catalysis for further action magnitude of existing momentum


25 MTSG Strategic Planning Participants Alberto Abreu BITMAR Estacion Mazatlan I.C.M.L./U.N.A.M. Apartado Postal 811 Mazatlan, Sinaloa 82000 MEXICO George Balazs National Marine Fisheries Service 2570 Dole Street Honolulu, HI 96822-2396 USA Karen Bjorndal Archie Carr Center for Sea Turtle Research Bartrarn Hall University of Florida Gainesville, FL 32611 USA Eng-Heng Chan Fisheries and Marine Science Centre Universiti Pertanian Malaysia Mengabang Telipot 21030 Kuala Terengganu MALAYSIA Anny Chaves Apdo. 18-3019 San Pablo Heredia COSTA RICA Deborah Crouse Center for Marine Conservation 1725 DeSales Street, NW #500 Washington, DC 20036 USA Mariano Gimenez Dixon World Conservation Union-IUCN Rue Mauverney 28 CH1196 Gland SWITZERLAND Marydele Donnelly MTSG Office c/o Center for Marine Conservation 1725 DeSales Street, NW #500 Washington, DC 20036 USA Carlos Hasbun Ministerio de Agricultura y Ganaderia Centro de Recursos Naturalcs Apartado Postal 2265 Canton El Matasano, Soyapango EL SALVADOR Kazuo Horikoshi Ogasawara Marine Center PO Box 404 Chichi-jima Ogasawara-mura Tokyo 100-21 JAPAN Rhema Kerr Hope Zoo Ministry of Agriculture Hope Gardens JAMAICA Colin Limpus Conservation Strategy Branch Queensland Dept. of Environment and Heritage PO Box 541 Capalaba 4157 AUSTRALIA Neca Marcovaldi Fundacao Pro-TAMAR Caixa Postal 2219 Salvador Bahia, CEP 41911 BRAZIL Dimitris Margaritoulis Sea Turtle Protection Society PO Box 51154 14510 Kifissia GREECE P. Mohanty-Hejmadi Department of Zoology Utkal University, Vani Vihar Post Box No. 86 G.P.O. Bhubaneswar 751004 Orissa INDIA Rodney Salm IUCN The World Conservation Union Regional Office Eastern Africa PO Box 68200 Nairobi KENYA Joop P. Schulz WORP 3 7419 AB Deventer NETHERLANDS Charles Tambiah 1867 Cavendish Court Charlotte, NC 28211 USA Romeo B. Trono PO Box U.P. 209 University of the Philippines U.P. Campus, Diliman, Quezon City I 10 1 PHILIPPINES Jack Woody 1748 Black River Drive Rio Rancho, NM 87124 USA Bert David, strategic planner Susan Warner, strategic planner The Lead Alliance 4208 Evergreen Lane, #215 Annandale, VA 22003 USA Executive Committee Member


IUCN/Species Survival Commission The Species Survival Commission (SSC) is one of six volunteer commissions of lUCN -The World Conservation Union-a union of sovereign states, government agencies and nongovernmental organizations. lUCN has three basic conservation objectives: to secure the conservation of nature, and especially of biological diversity, as an essential foundation for the future; to ensure that where the earth's natural resources are used this is done in a wise, equitable and sustainable way; and to guide the development of human communities towards ways of life that are both of good quality and in enduring harmony with other components of the biosphere. The SSC's mission is to conserve biological diversity by developing and executing programs to save, restore and wisely manage species and their habitats. A volunteer network comprised of nearly 6,000 scientists, field researchers, government officials and conservation leaders from 179 countries, the SSC membership is an unmatched source of information about biological diversity and its conservation. As such, SSC members provide technical and scientific counsel for conservation projects throughout the world and serve as resources to governments, international conventions and conservation organizations. Published by lUCN This report is part of the lUCN Conservation Library For a free copy of the complete catalogue please write to lUCN Publications Services Unit, 219c Huntingdon Road, Cambridge CB3 ODL, U.K.

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