I'll be presenting a keynote on Friday morning about neuroconservation, participating in a panel discussion about the black sea turtle, and having many meetings with colleagues and students to discuss a range of research and conservation projects. A full, turtley week.
But the news from Mexico is that it remains the world capital for sea turtles, and while there are many problems left to work on, such as the high bycatch rates of loggerhead sea turtles along the Baja coast and the desperate situation the Pacific leatherback turtles are in, many of the population graphs presented today are trending upward.
That's partly because of good science, sometimes because of responsive top-down management, but usually it has to do with community-based projects with strong leadership, persistence, passion and empathy. Without this group of dedicated people, the sea turtles would have been written off long ago.
Many of our friends and colleagues here have been at this work for more than a decade, sometimes two or three decades. And the results are beginning to show.
If we can do it for sea turtles, a slow growing, late maturing, highly vulnerable, endangered group of animals, I think there's hope for many other threatened species and ecosystems.
But it will require an understanding and clever application of ecology AND economics AND emotion, what we call neuroconservation.