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Jose Urteaga

Marine Biologist/ Conservationist

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Jose Urteaga Biography

They survived the birth of the world’s mountain ranges, an ice age, and a cataclysmic event that destroyed every dinosaur. Yet after enduring more than 100 million years, sea turtles have finally been brought to the brink of extinction by one force: human beings.

Populations are now so depleted that every marine turtle species is endangered, some critically. But on a beach in Nicaragua, marine biologist Jose Urteaga is working hard and fast to reverse the trend. The innovative sea turtle conservation program he leads on Nicaragua’s Pacific coast blends serious science, celebrity rock stars, new income options, classroom puppet shows, and government action—energizing and uniting diverse stakeholders nationwide.

He’s brought his creativity to the right place. Nicaragua is home to five of the world’s seven sea turtle species. It also boasts one of the world’s few beaches where arribadas occur—the nesting of thousands of turtles at the same time, producing up to 600,000 hatchlings. But the nation’s poverty, the second worst in the Western Hemisphere, has mixed effects on the turtles. No money for large-scale commercial development means pristine beaches and waters for sea turtle nesting, foraging, and migration. On the other hand, economic desperation leads locals to extensively poach adult turtles and eggs as a source of income.

“We can’t only look at this from the turtle’s point of view,” Urteaga explains, “We must also see the human side.

People here say, How can I tell my hungry children that saving the turtle for tomorrow matters more than what you need today? They live on less than $1 U.S. per day, but can make $5 by selling a dozen turtle eggs to bars in the cities. That obviously tempts a lot of people to poach.”

Myth also purports the eggs to be a powerful aphrodisiac; adult turtle meat is similarly prized; and the carapace (shell) is in demand for jewelry making.

People in beach communities poach turtles because people in cities will pay for them. “So,” Urteaga reasons, “we must work with both groups.” To persuade poachers to stop, he introduces new income alternatives including organic agriculture, beekeeping, handicrafts made from recycled plastic bags, sustainable ecotourism, even hiring ex-poachers to patrol and protect nesting beaches. Meanwhile, his team raised awareness in urban areas with a massive national media campaign featuring celebrities stating, “I don’t eat turtle eggs.” The campaign, measured to reach 70 percent of city dwellers, has had the greatest impact on youth.

Children also respond to the myriad educational efforts he spearheads, from school conservation materials and teacher training to theater and chances to help hatcheries. Surveys now show a reduction in poaching by children. A series of sold-out concerts with Nicaraguan rock and folk music stars further raises awareness and funds for conservation.

“You can motivate people through their brains and their hearts,” Urteaga says. “I believe the arts are fantastic, yet underexploited, tools for inspiring change. The key is to instill pride in doing something good, in the amazing environment we have here, and in the turtles themselves.” He leverages this newfound national concern for conservation to catalyze government initiatives protecting key habitats.

Urteaga’s empathy for human needs is always paired with strong science. Working as a marine biologist with Fauna and Flora International, his team has developed monitoring protocols, established 24-hour patrols of nesting beaches, started tagging and recording data, discovered the coast’s largest leatherback nesting area, and created a network of hatcheries.

Before they began work, almost every leatherback turtle egg laid on Nicaragua’s Pacific coast was poached. Only a few years later, studies estimate more than 90 percent of leatherback nests are protected on key beaches. “We’ve protected 350 leatherback nests and more than 45 females,” he reports. “Those numbers sound small until you realize that the entire eastern Pacific population has fewer than a thousand females.”

Many feeding grounds overlap with fishing areas. The turtles become hooked or entangled as they navigate a web of long lines stretching for miles. “This often means death for the turtle, and lost time and equipment for the fishermen,” Urteaga explains. “So we’re teaching them how to handle and release the turtles back into the water. We’re also promoting a program to give fisherman new hooks that catch fish, but are less harmful to turtles.”

His passion is contagious. “Imagine walking on the beach at night, the sky completely full of stars. Suddenly you see this big dinosaur lumbering out of the sea—a 1,000-pound, 2-meter-long [450-kilogram, 6.5-foot-long] turtle. With incredible concentration, she uses her flippers to dig a huge nest in the sand. Just as she’s about to lay her eggs we slip a plastic bag in the hole, catch the eggs, and relocate them to a hatchery or other area safe from poachers," he says. "Now that I’m a father myself, what we’re doing to protect the environment and species for the next generation has become tangible in a whole new way. We haven’t won the war, it may take the rest of my lifetime, but we are determined to succeed.”

FAQs
  • HOW TO BOOK Jose Urteaga?

    Our booking agents have successfully helped clients around the world secure talent like Jose Urteaga for both live and virtual events for over 15 years. The team at All American Entertainment represents and listens to the needs of organizations and corporations seeking to hire keynote speakers, celebrities or entertainers for speaking engagements, personal appearances, product endorsements, or corporate entertainment. Fill out a booking request form for Jose Urteaga, or call our office at 1.800.698.2536 to discuss your upcoming event. One of our experienced agents will be happy to help you get pricing information and check availability for Jose Urteaga or any other celebrity of your choice.
  • HOW MUCH DOES IT COST TO BOOK Jose Urteaga?

    Booking fees for Jose Urteaga, or any other speakers and celebrities, are determined based on a number of factors and may change without notice. Pricing often varies between live and virtual events. Other factors that can affect speaker fees include the talent's schedule, market conditions, length of presentation, and the location of the event. The live and virtual event speaking fees listed on this website are intended to serve as a guideline only. In some cases, the actual quote may be above or below the stated range. For the most current fee to hire Jose Urteaga, please fill out the booking request form or call our office at 1.800.698.2536 to speak with an experienced booking agent.
  • WHO IS THE AGENT FOR Jose Urteaga?

    All American Entertainment has successfully secured celebrity talent like Jose Urteaga for clients worldwide for more than 15 years. As a full-service talent booking agency, we have access to virtually any speaker or celebrity in the world. Our agents are happy and able to submit an offer to the speaker or celebrity of your choice, letting you benefit from our reputation and long-standing relationships in the industry. Fill out the booking request form or call our office at 1.800.698.2536, and one of our agents will assist you to book Jose Urteaga for your next private or corporate function.
  • WHAT IS A FULL-SERVICE TALENT BOOKING AGENCY?

    All American Speakers is a "buyers agent" and exclusively represents talent buyers, meeting planners and event professionals, who are looking to secure celebrities and speakers for personal appearances, speaking engagements, corporate entertainment, public relations campaigns, commercials, or endorsements. We do not exclusively represent Jose Urteaga or claim ourselves as the exclusive booking agency, business manager, publicist, speakers bureau or management for Jose Urteaga or any other speaker or celebrity on this website. For more information on how we work and what makes us unique, please read the AAE Advantage.
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This website is a resource for event professionals and strives to provide the most comprehensive catalog of thought leaders and industry experts to consider for speaking engagements. A listing or profile on this website does not imply an agency affiliation or endorsement by the talent.

All American Entertainment (AAE) exclusively represents the interests of talent buyers, and does not claim to be the agency or management for any speaker or artist on this site. AAE is a talent booking agency for paid events only. We do not handle requests for donation of time or media requests for interviews, and cannot provide celebrity contact information.

If you are the talent and wish to request a profile update or removal from our online directory, please submit a profile request form.

Marine Biologist/ Conservationist

Travels From:
Nicaragua
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Jose Urteaga Biography

They survived the birth of the world’s mountain ranges, an ice age, and a cataclysmic event that destroyed every dinosaur. Yet after enduring more than 100 million years, sea turtles have finally been brought to the brink of extinction by one force: human beings.

Populations are now so depleted that every marine turtle species is endangered, some critically. But on a beach in Nicaragua, marine biologist Jose Urteaga is working hard and fast to reverse the trend. The innovative sea turtle conservation program he leads on Nicaragua’s Pacific coast blends serious science, celebrity rock stars, new income options, classroom puppet shows, and government action—energizing and uniting diverse stakeholders nationwide.

He’s brought his creativity to the right place. Nicaragua is home to five of the world’s seven sea turtle species. It also boasts one of the world’s few beaches where arribadas occur—the nesting of thousands of turtles at the same time, producing up to 600,000 hatchlings. But the nation’s poverty, the second worst in the Western Hemisphere, has mixed effects on the turtles. No money for large-scale commercial development means pristine beaches and waters for sea turtle nesting, foraging, and migration. On the other hand, economic desperation leads locals to extensively poach adult turtles and eggs as a source of income.

“We can’t only look at this from the turtle’s point of view,” Urteaga explains, “We must also see the human side.

People here say, How can I tell my hungry children that saving the turtle for tomorrow matters more than what you need today? They live on less than $1 U.S. per day, but can make $5 by selling a dozen turtle eggs to bars in the cities. That obviously tempts a lot of people to poach.”

Myth also purports the eggs to be a powerful aphrodisiac; adult turtle meat is similarly prized; and the carapace (shell) is in demand for jewelry making.

People in beach communities poach turtles because people in cities will pay for them. “So,” Urteaga reasons, “we must work with both groups.” To persuade poachers to stop, he introduces new income alternatives including organic agriculture, beekeeping, handicrafts made from recycled plastic bags, sustainable ecotourism, even hiring ex-poachers to patrol and protect nesting beaches. Meanwhile, his team raised awareness in urban areas with a massive national media campaign featuring celebrities stating, “I don’t eat turtle eggs.” The campaign, measured to reach 70 percent of city dwellers, has had the greatest impact on youth.

Children also respond to the myriad educational efforts he spearheads, from school conservation materials and teacher training to theater and chances to help hatcheries. Surveys now show a reduction in poaching by children. A series of sold-out concerts with Nicaraguan rock and folk music stars further raises awareness and funds for conservation.

“You can motivate people through their brains and their hearts,” Urteaga says. “I believe the arts are fantastic, yet underexploited, tools for inspiring change. The key is to instill pride in doing something good, in the amazing environment we have here, and in the turtles themselves.” He leverages this newfound national concern for conservation to catalyze government initiatives protecting key habitats.

Urteaga’s empathy for human needs is always paired with strong science. Working as a marine biologist with Fauna and Flora International, his team has developed monitoring protocols, established 24-hour patrols of nesting beaches, started tagging and recording data, discovered the coast’s largest leatherback nesting area, and created a network of hatcheries.

Before they began work, almost every leatherback turtle egg laid on Nicaragua’s Pacific coast was poached. Only a few years later, studies estimate more than 90 percent of leatherback nests are protected on key beaches. “We’ve protected 350 leatherback nests and more than 45 females,” he reports. “Those numbers sound small until you realize that the entire eastern Pacific population has fewer than a thousand females.”

Many feeding grounds overlap with fishing areas. The turtles become hooked or entangled as they navigate a web of long lines stretching for miles. “This often means death for the turtle, and lost time and equipment for the fishermen,” Urteaga explains. “So we’re teaching them how to handle and release the turtles back into the water. We’re also promoting a program to give fisherman new hooks that catch fish, but are less harmful to turtles.”

His passion is contagious. “Imagine walking on the beach at night, the sky completely full of stars. Suddenly you see this big dinosaur lumbering out of the sea—a 1,000-pound, 2-meter-long [450-kilogram, 6.5-foot-long] turtle. With incredible concentration, she uses her flippers to dig a huge nest in the sand. Just as she’s about to lay her eggs we slip a plastic bag in the hole, catch the eggs, and relocate them to a hatchery or other area safe from poachers," he says. "Now that I’m a father myself, what we’re doing to protect the environment and species for the next generation has become tangible in a whole new way. We haven’t won the war, it may take the rest of my lifetime, but we are determined to succeed.”

FAQs on booking Jose Urteaga

  • How to book Jose Urteaga?

    Our booking agents have successfully helped clients around the world secure talent like Jose Urteaga for both live and virtual events for over 20 years. The team at All American Entertainment represents and listens to the needs of organizations and corporations seeking to hire keynote speakers, celebrities or entertainers for speaking engagements, personal appearances, product endorsements, or corporate entertainment. Fill out a booking request form for Jose Urteaga, or call our office at 1.800.698.2536 to discuss your upcoming event. One of our experienced agents will be happy to help you get pricing information and check availability for Jose Urteaga or any other celebrity of your choice.
  • How much does it cost to book Jose Urteaga?

    Booking fees for Jose Urteaga, or any other speakers and celebrities, are determined based on a number of factors and may change without notice. Pricing often varies between live and virtual events. Other factors that can affect speaker fees include the talent's schedule, market conditions, length of presentation, and the location of the event. The live and virtual event speaking fees listed on this website are intended to serve as a guideline only. In some cases, the actual quote may be above or below the stated range. For the most current fee to hire Jose Urteaga, please fill out the booking request form or call our office at 1.800.698.2536 to speak with an experienced booking agent.
  • Who is the agent for Jose Urteaga?

    All American Entertainment has successfully secured celebrity talent like Jose Urteaga for clients worldwide for more than 20 years. As a full-service talent booking agency, we have access to virtually any speaker or celebrity in the world. Our agents are happy and able to submit an offer to the speaker or celebrity of your choice, letting you benefit from our reputation and long-standing relationships in the industry. Fill out the booking request form or call our office at 1.800.698.2536, and one of our agents will assist you to book Jose Urteaga for your next private or corporate function.
  • What is a full-service talent booking agency?

    All American Speakers is a "buyers agent" and exclusively represents talent buyers, meeting planners and event professionals, who are looking to secure celebrities and speakers for personal appearances, speaking engagements, corporate entertainment, public relations campaigns, commercials, or endorsements. We do not exclusively represent Jose Urteaga or claim ourselves as the exclusive booking agency, business manager, publicist, speakers bureau or management for Jose Urteaga or any other speaker or celebrity on this website. For more information on how we work and what makes us unique, please read the AAE Advantage.

Jose Urteaga is a keynote speaker and industry expert who speaks on a wide range of topics . The estimated speaking fee range to book Jose Urteaga for your event is available upon request. Jose Urteaga generally travels from Nicaragua and can be booked for (private) corporate events, personal appearances, keynote speeches, or other performances. Similar motivational celebrity speakers are Brad Norman, Andrea Marshall, Claire Simeone, Andy Mann and Tundi Agardy. Contact All American Speakers for ratings, reviews, videos and information on scheduling Jose Urteaga for an upcoming live or virtual event.

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Speakers Similar to Jose Urteaga

This website is a resource for event professionals and strives to provide the most comprehensive catalog of thought leaders and industry experts to consider for speaking engagements. A listing or profile on this website does not imply an agency affiliation or endorsement by the talent.

All American Entertainment (AAE) exclusively represents the interests of talent buyers, and does not claim to be the agency or management for any speaker or artist on this site. AAE is a talent booking agency for paid events only. We do not handle requests for donation of time or media requests for interviews, and cannot provide celebrity contact information.

If you are the talent and wish to request a profile update or removal from our online directory, please submit a profile request form.

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