One of the highlights of any trip to Costa Rica is seeing a turtle. There are a number of species of turtles that can be spotted across freshwater and marine environments – but it’s the sea turtles that are an absolute highlight.
Female turtles will nest every two to three years and will come ashore several times across the breeding season to lay anywhere between 80 and 110 eggs at a time in a perfectly cylindrical nest that she will have dug. She’ll then cower and cover the eggs back up with sand before returning to the ocean
The reason why turtles lay so many eggs in a season is to give some a fighting chance of survival. Before they have a chance to hatch many eggs are eaten by other wildlife or are poached by locals as they are considered a delicacy. So what’s being done about this?
ASVO have teams in both Montezuma (on Playa Montezuma) and Samara (at the Buena Vista Beach Project) to patrol along the beaches during the nesting season to keep watch on where turtles are coming ashore to lay their eggs. With the female turtle safely back in the ocean, the eggs are exhumed and moved to their nursery in a protected area of the beach to be reburied in the sand. After a wait of 45 to 55 days, and unless they’ve already come to the surface, the hatchling turtles are exhumed, taken further down the beach and then released to make their way to ocean for the first time. During the hatching season – if you find yourself in either place at 4pm during the nesting season … go along and see this precious sight for yourself – it’s such a privilege to see!
The Global Wildlife Rescue Project is proud to be supporting the work of ASVO in both Montezuma and Samara on the Pacific coast of Costa Rica. Funds will help ensure more turtle eggs are protected to increase the number of turtles hatching and being released back into the wild.
Please donate now to help ASVO continue their vital work.