A Sad Day For Sea Turtles and Their Defenders

The murder of Costa Rican sea turtle defender Jairo Mora Sandoval, on Thursday or early Friday morning, has outraged environmentalists and promoted calls for a full government investigation.

Jairo Mora Sandoval at work

Jairo Mora Sandoval at work

All species of sea turtles are endangered and Sandoval protected turtle nests on beaches in Costa Rica, which are frequently targeted by egg poachers.

In his New York Times blog (quoted below), journalist Andrew Revkin has been posting updates about the killing and links to related sites.

On a personal note, I did not know Sandoval, but have friends in the “Turtlehead” community who did. While working on a book about sea turtles several years ago, I spent time with turtle advocates in several countries and know that they’re a dedicated and tough bunch. I have no doubt Sandoval’s murder will lead them to redouble their efforts.

Here’s the beginning of Revkin’s Dot Earth blog post on the killing:

This quiet stretch of beach near Limón, Costa Rica, was photographed on May 19 by Jairo Mora Sandoval, a 26-year-old conservationist who regularly patrolled there to protect endangered sea turtles and their nests from poachers.

Jairo Mora Sandoval, a 26-year-old Costa Rican sea turtle conservationist who patrolled beaches near Limon, was found murdered on Friday morning.

According to Costa Rican news reports, police said he was kidnapped Thursday night by armed men — along with three American women and one from Spain who were volunteering as turtle surveyors.

via A Costa Rican Turtle Defender is Murdered on the Beach He Patrolled – NYTimes.com.

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