above: A male black turtle clings to a female while mating in
shallow coastal waters.
top left: Wallace J. Nichols returns to a sea turtle graveyard,
where he once collected hundreds of turtle shells to calculate the
scale of their illegal harvest.
bottom left: Wallace J. Nichols visits Juan de la Cruz Villalejos, a
fisherman who was once one of the best sea turtle hunters in the
world. “I’ve taken so many of these animals from the ocean, it’s
time to give something back, so my grandchildren will also know
them,” Villalejos said. His granddaughter is a budding conservationist.
See a slide show of more photographs
of the Grupo Tortuguero project at