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One donation. Twice the impact for threatened turtles.

Green Match Fund RC

Double the difference you can make by donating to our Urpiano beach project in Costa Rica, where we are working to protect threatened leatherback turtles.

From now until 29th April, any donation you make will be matched through The Big Give's Green Match Fund, meaning your donation has twice the impact.

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Leatherback turtle hatchling. Credit: Max Smeele

Marine turtles are a keystone species, playing an important role in maintaining our ocean's ecosystem. The leatherback is the largest marine turtle, with the longest range. But their numbers are declining as a result of the poaching of eggs for human consumption, coastal development, fishing bycatch and climate change.

Urpiano beach, on the Caribbean coast of Costa Rica has one of the highest numbers of nesting leatherback turtles in the area. Until recently, however, the beach has been notorious for the illegal poaching of turtle eggs - in a survey conducted in 2015, 100% of eggs were poached. Female leatherbacks return to the beaches where they hatch so without intervention, Urpiano could soon lose all its leatherback turtles.

Johnny with one of the local workers

Project co-founder, Johnny Hurtado, releasing hatchlings to the seas with help from a local volunteer.

The Urpiano beach project was established in 2016 to protect these turtles and ensure the long-term survival of the colony. The team conducts nightly patrols throughout the nesting season, and protect the eggs that have hatched. The hatchlings are then safely released to the sea. The project also aims to prevent people turning to poaching by engaging with the local community and providing livelihood opportunities through employment and training.

As a result of this work, the number of nests and hatchlings saved has increased steadily each season and last year, the team successfully released 12,000 hatchlings to the sea.

We want to build on this success and need your help to stop Urpiano losing its turtles forever.

This week, please give generously. The first £2,500 raised will be matched, so together we can protect more turtles than ever.

Donate now