Dr. Frank Paladino is a marine turtle expert with a passion for saving leatherbacks from extinction.
Why leatherback sea turtles?
“I was born along the East Coast and grew up on the South Shore of Long Island, New York, so I gained an appreciation for nature, marine environments, and marine animals” he told a Purdue University interviewer. “Once I arrived in Costa Rica and worked with these ancient and magnificent beasts on a tropical beach, I was hooked.”
A great moment in the field:
Here’s just one example of Dr. Paladino’s influence. Recently, the Costa Rican government rejected applications for development permits for hotels and houses on a critical nesting beach. This move came in response to over 3,000 emails from Earthwatch team members and friends around the world, criticizing these developments. The Ministry vowed to do likewise for all other critical turtle nesting beaches in Costa Rica.
“Data collected by Earthwatch volunteers over the past 10 years have demonstrated that these hotel and resort developments disturb the nesting turtles and destroy the dynamics of sand deposition needed to maintain the beach,” Dr. Paladino told Earthwatch. “This action by the government of Costa Rica will ensure the protection of this beach and will be instrumental in the reproduction of this very endangered sea turtle.”