Bahia Jaltemba, Mexico

Bahia Jaltemba hosts important numbers of foraging hawksbills and is also visited by occasional nesting hawksbills.

Currently managed by RETO, the nesting conservation program in the area of Bahia de Jaltemba, Nayarit, Mexico has been operating for nearly 10 years. The area is mainly visited by nesting olive ridley turtles, but the nearshore waters also host foraging hawksbills. In 2009 ICAPO researchers passed through the Bahia de Jaltemba inquiring about the presence of hawksbill turtles. While RETO had documented observations of a couple of nests and several dead (washed ashore) individuals, we were not actively looking for the species at the time. The ICAPO visit motivated us to start investigating more about hawksbills and we started by engaging fishermen, who mentioned a possible nesting area in Punta de Mita, Nayarit. We have since confirmed sporadic hawksbill nesting at Punta de Mita, Nayarit and found that Bahia de Jaltemba and the surrounding area is an important location for juvenile hawksbill turtles.  RETO has continued to grow and now consists of numerous local fishing cooperatives, coastal communities and turtle camps throughout the region. RETO receives critical support from the hotel associations of Banderas Bay and Rincon de Guayabitos, Nayarit

• Work with local Project managers to record information on nesting and foraging hawksbills.
• Educate local fishermen about the importance of hawksbill turtles.
• Satellite telemetry of hawksbills in Nayarit.
• We hope to increase knowledge about hawksbill turtles in our region and use the juvenile hawksbill as an umbrella species for better protection of our coastal ecosystems.


  • Satellite telemetry of three juvenile hawksbills in Nayarit.
  • Identification of hawksbill nesting áreas in Nayarit and Jalisco.
  • Collaborations with local fishermen (who report hawksbill bycatch to RETO).
  • Rehabilitation of the juvenile hawksbill “Jaltemba”, resulting in its return to the sea, which made headlines in several local and national news sources, providing important publicity of the need to care for the sea turtles.
  • Management of a multi-state hawksbill stranding and documentation program.


Conservation strategies used by this project site:

Nesting Beach Conservation

In-water Monitoring

Outreach and Education

Exploratory Habitat Investigations

Implementing Organization

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