A project of Marine Turtle Research Group.
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The turtle was named in honour of the Jaragua National Park. This reserve is located in the southwestern part of the Barahona Peninsula, near the southwestern border of the Dominican Republic with Haiti. It includes within its limits the islands of Beata and Alto Velo, as well as Los Frailes and Piedra Negra cays. With an area of 1,374 km2, Jaragua is one of the largest protected areas in the insular Caribbean.
It constitutes one of the few remaining areas of pristine Antillean wild lands, particularly those occurring in arid and coastal-marine ecosystems. It is the only place of Hispaniola where the natural geographic distribution of several faunal groups overlaps, having all species of each taxa represented. As a result, the Parks flora and fauna are unique, presenting high levels of endemism, both at the species and higher taxa levels.
Jaragua National Park was established in 1983. It has an area of 1 374 kmē, of which 905 kmē are marine. Currently the Park is under the administration of the Protected Area and Biodiversity Sub-secretariat of the Environment and Natural Resources Secretariat.
The Park includes numerous species of high economic, fishery and conservation value. In terms of reptiles, Jaragua has a very high diversity. The Park's beaches serve as nesting sites for sea turtles, particularly hawksbills (Eretmochelys imbricata) and leatherbacks (Dermochelys coriacea). Juvenile green turtles (Chelonia mydas) and especially hawksbills are also found in high densities in Jaragua's sea grass beds and coral reefs, respectively. However, hawksbill nesting population may be writing the last words at JNP due most probably to decades of human exploitation by poaching of eggs and intentional and incidental captures at sea.
For more information, check: http://www.grupojaragua.org.do/pnj_english.html