Our April Charity: Palmarito Sea Turtle Rescue

Our April Charity: Palmarito Sea Turtle Rescue

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This summer, Kyte Baby is releasing a collection of colorful prints inspired by the beautiful wildlife in Mexico. One of our most anticipated prints from this collection is Eagle Ray, which features tropical marine life, including the majestic and critically endangered sea turtle. Not only are these animals culturally significant across the globe, they are also a fundamental link in marine ecosystems and help maintain the health of the world’s oceans. Sea turtles are found in warm subtropical and tropical ocean waters all around the world, but have undergone a shocking population decrease over the past two centuries. Due to poaching, over-exploitation, habitat destruction, climate change, and accidental capture, nearly all species of sea turtles are now classified as endangered. Thanks to conservation efforts by various organizations around the world, these magnificent animals are protected by national and state laws, as well as international treaties. One such organization that does valuable work to protect sea turtles in Mexico, where we drew inspiration for our summer prints, is a non-profit called Palmarito Sea Turtle Rescue.

Palmarito Sea Turtle Rescue Logo

Since 2004, the primary goal of Palmarito Sea Turtle Rescue has been to protect the endangered sea turtles along the Southern Pacific coast of Oaxaca, Mexico. Named after Playa Palmarito (Palmarito Beach), the organization’s main project involves protecting the nests along the beach and other nearby nesting grounds. Playa Palmarito is one of the top three most important sea turtle nesting grounds in the world, and every year from September to June, the 22 kilometers of beach are patrolled to collect eggs from sea turtle nests. These nests are relocated to protected areas that are safe from poaching, dogs, small mammals, birds, crabs, and insects, then the hatchlings are released. Through the organization’s efforts, thousands of Olive Ridley and East Pacific Green hatchlings, and hundreds of Leatherback hatchlings have been safely released.

Another focus of Palmarito Sea Turtle Rescue is its Mazunte Project, which addresses the large numbers of dogs eating turtle eggs and hatchlings, as well as disrupting the sea turtle nesting beaches of Oaxaca. To curb this issue, the organization runs an aggressive spay/neuter campaign and also provides clinical and preventative medical treatment to improve the health of the dogs in the region. Through the work of this project, Palmarito Sea Turtle Rescue has reduced the number of dogs roaming the beaches and has increased the number of domesticated dogs, which has helped reduce preying on turtles.

For the past two decades, the organization has been protecting and releasing about 40,000 to 60,000 turtles annually. It also educates locals and tourists on the importance of sea turtle conservation and the role sea turtles play in maintaining a healthy marine ecosystem. Palmarito Sea Turtle Rescue is entirely volunteer-based and made up of veterinarians, veterinary nurses, students, and others. As a brand deeply inspired by nature, we can’t think of a more deserving organization to be named as our charity of the month. In honor of our Mexico collection releasing this summer, we donated $5,000 to Palmarito Sea Turtle Rescue for the critical work they do in protecting these keystone species, and, in turn, our planet.

Every year on April 22, people all around the world celebrate Earth Day to demonstrate support for environmental protection. While organizations like Palmarito Sea Turtle Rescue work tirelessly to make sure that sea turtle eggs hatch safely and their hatchlings make it back to the ocean, we can all do our own part to protect these animals, too. One of the biggest threats to sea turtles is plastic pollution, which kills over 1,000 turtles every year. Because plastic bags look similar to jellyfish and fishing nets can look like seaweed, sea turtles end up consuming plastic debris in the ocean. This plastic can cause blockages in their intestines, pierce the intestinal wall, or even cause starvation by filling the stomach and imitating the sensation of being full. In addition to consuming plastic, sea turtles can also get entangled in plastic debris, which causes them to choke, lose limbs, injure themselves, or drown. Simply choosing to invest in reusable containers, consciously rejecting single-use plastics, and picking up trash whenever you see it (especially at the beach) can go a long way in helping the environment and our beautiful reptilian friends.

Eagle Ray and its companion prints are an homage to Mexico and the beautiful wildlife found in its ecosystems. When these prints are released this summer, it is our hope that all who wear them will not only think of these special animals but how we can all take action–big or small– to protect the planet we all inhabit.

Kyte Baby Eagle Ray

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