30 Years of InterVol: Palmarito Sea Turtle Rescue
InterVol has been dedicated to donating unused medical supplies to local & global organizations for three decades. In our 30th year, we want to celebrate some of the organizations that use our donations to make a real difference. Thanks to your unending support, we are able to provide these organizations with the resources they need to perform their good work.
The Palmarito Sea Turtle Rescue & Mazunte Project
Along the southern Pacific coast of Mexico, a few miles west of Puerto Escondido, Oaxaca runs a dirt road headed to the beach marked with a sign – “Campamento Tortugero Palmarito.” This is the site of the Palmarito Sea Turtle Rescue.
The Palmarito Sea Turtle Rescue is working on the protection and preservation of sea turtles along the coast of Oaxaca. The species of turtles they work with include Olive Ridleys, a Green Turtle subpopulation called Black Sea Turtle, and Leatherback Sea Turtles (which are on the list of critically endangered species). The rescue works to protect over 400 nests annually which results in the protection and release of 30,000 – 40,000 hatchlings each year.
In addition to nest protection, the Palmarito Rescue also works on a campaign known as the Mazunte Project. The main goal of the Mazunte Project is to spay and neuter the canines that populate the sea turtle nesting beaches. Dogs are sea turtle predators that will eat eggs and hatchlings and can occasionally maim or kill adults. The work of the Mazunte Project has reduced the number of dogs roaming the beaches in some cases to single digits. The project’s spay and neuter numbers are rising every year – in 2017 they spayed and neutered over 500 dogs. The exposure of the project in the community has led to an increase in domesticated dogs, which has helped to limit the number of dogs preying on turtles.
The third mission that the people of the Palmarito Sea Turtle Rescue are a part of is called the Iguana Project. This portion of the rescue works to protect 3,000-5,000 iguanas from human predation. The adult iguanas are free-ranging while the hatchlings and juveniles are in large enclosures.
All of these efforts would not be possible without donations from surrounding communities. InterVol has donated sutures, scalpels, syringes and needles, gloves, and gauze to the Palmarito Sea Turtle Rescue that were used in the spay and neuter campaign of the Mazunte Project this month. The Rescue also receives donated supplies and medications from other organizations, veterinary distributors, individual practices, and the veterinarians who make the trip to Oaxaca to participate in the Mazunte Project.
“It is truly a One Health Project where wildlife, domestic animals, and people all benefit,” explains Rich Roger of the Palmarito Sea Turtle Rescue. InterVol is honored to be a part of such an important project. If you would like to donate to the Palmarito Sea Turtle Rescue please visit www.palmaritoseaturtlerescue.org or if you would like to donate to InterVol please visit www.intervol.org.