Estero Padre Ramos Natural Reserve, Nicaragua

Located on the northwest pacific coast of Nicaragua, the Estero Padre Ramos Nature Reserve is one of the most ecologically important natural areas in Nicaragua. A large mangrove estuary surrounded by several small beach communities, it is a critically important hawksbill nesting area. Hawksbill monitoring and conservation have been taking place since April 2010.

In 2009 a team composed of members of Fauna and Flora International, ICAPO, community leaders and representatives of the Ministry of Environment (MARENA), visited the Estero Padre Ramos Nature Reserve located along the Pacific coast of Nicaragua, where it was rumored that the significant numbers of hawksbill turtle nested and that the majority of nests were poached. It was concluded that the area was likely one of the two most important hawksbill nesting sites in the Eastern Pacific. The Nicaraguan Hawksbill Project was initiated in 2010 and since that time the research and conservation actions have enable us to determine nesting abundance and conservation status of the species, while also enabling the protection of nearly every nest laid at the site. This has been achieved through the cohesive participation of various NGOs, government institutions, local communities, cooperatives and private companies, who work within a locally formed committee to efficiently prioritize and manage the resources of this critical hawksbill protected area.


Maximum number of the eggs are staying in the sand. Hatchlings are being produced, while we financially support local community members who often have limited options to provide for themselves and their families.

  • Protecting more than 500 nests, representing more than 95 percent of hawksbill nests at the site.
  • Releasing more than 50,000 hawksbill hatchlings.
  • Documenting more than 170 nesting female hawksbills.
  • Equipping five hawksbills with satellite tags for tracking.
  • Monitoring 12 kilometers of nesting beach.
  • Collaborating with more than 15 local, national and international organizations.
  • Uncovering new information about hawksbill biology, life-history and conservation through scientific research. 
  • A prime conservation area hosting 40 percent of the known hawksbill nesting sites in the entire eastern Pacific.


Conservation strategies used by this project site:

Nesting Beach Conservation


Protected Area Management

Outreach and Education

Implementing Organizations

ICAPO’s Role with Implementing Organization

  • Communication with other organizations (information link)
  • Access funding sources
  • Funding proposals
  • Joint management (planning and implementation, reporting)
  • Technical advising (capacity-building, training, protocol/methodology development)
  • Research and publications collaboration

Allied Organizations