The conservation of leatherback turtles in the Eastern Pacific Ocean has been conducted for over 40 years since nesting beach conservation and monitoring projects started, mainly in Mexico and Costa Rica. Since then, the number of projects, organizations, and individuals has grown tremendously. Today, hundreds of people are working on leatherback turtle research and conservation in all countries from north to south of the Americas. The scientific knowledge that researchers and organizations have obtained on the biology of leatherback turtles in the East Pacific is among the most extensive for any sea turtle population in the world. Research topics include movement and migration, natural behavior in the water and during the nesting process, reproduction and factors that affect it, nest conditions that influence embryo development and hatchling production, and primary threats, especially egg consumption by humans and fisheries bycatch. This knowledge has supported the development and execution of many conservation and management projects in various sites throughout the region.
However, despite the great conservation and research effort at local, national, and regional levels, the leatherback turtle population in the Eastern Pacific has continued to decline. Thus, we launched a focused effort to coordinate and integrate people to the regional projects, now formally named the Eastern Pacific Leatherback Turtle Conservation Network (Laúd OPO), and guide priority efforts to achieve the recovery of the population. The Network intends to be a technical network whose main objective is to strengthen the support, coordination, and collaboration of priority efforts for the leatherback turtle conservation at a regional level.
Members can be individuals or organizations, but in both cases, there are criteria that members must meet: