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Nov 28, 2014

successful nesting season!

pacific green hatching meeting an Olive Ridley!
pacific green hatching meeting an Olive Ridley!

As every year, the nesting season n Playa Buenavista has been dynamic! Due to its seclusion, and lack of contamination, its almost as if the female population of Olive Ridley turtles on the northern pacific coast line, know. They know that if they come to nest here they will be protected, their eggs will be safe, and their babies have a higher chance of survival.

All of this has been possible this year thanks to the commitment of our staff and volunteers, and the generousity of unknown people from all over the world, who have contributed to this cause.

We have commenced the replacement of old, eroded materials in the hatchery, with stronger fencing, new meshing, and a semi permeable covering for the precious nests, who need an optimum temperature to produce equal amounts of male and female turtles.

The rainy season took its toll, bringing fragile nest temperatures down, but this covering saved them from flooding. Now its summer time, with soaring temperatires and scalding sun beating down on the hatchery, but this covering is keeping the nests, albeit slightly, shaded.

The results speak for themselves - up until October, we have managed to rescue 480 nests from natural predators such as racoons and crabs, and also from the tides and rain. These  nests  contained 42,626 eggs, all of which were protected 24 hours a day, which in turn produced 20,910 baby turtles.

So you could say that there are nearly 21,000 more turtles in the ocean than before..all thanks to the generosity of our supporters.

If the turtles could say thank you, they would.

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Nov 25, 2014

the end of one season, the start of a new one

we want to invest in future environmentalists
we want to invest in future environmentalists

As the 2014 nesting season draws to a close in Playa Matapalo, we are already planning the next one. its has been a succesful year in many ways. The project has received many entusiastic volunteers and interns, we have an awesome team running the research, and we have had a 95% success rate in the hatchery.

But still, in Matapalo we have to confront the illegal poaching problem on a daily basis. The poaching of turtle eggs is a common practice in coastal areas of Costa Rica, not due to malice or for making money, but out of necessity for an albeit humble income.

The past couple of nesting seasons we have been analyzing the interest of the community in turtle conservation. Although the generation of school children have been exposed to the idea of consevation for many years, through our environmental program, the parents and older generations still have a need to extract turtle eggs, and it is the only source of income in the area.

"The problem is that in order to get a job with a salary, the youth need to move to areas such as Quepos, San Isidro or even San Jose, and leave their families behind. If they choose to stay in the Matapalo area, there are no employment opportunities. This , combined with other social problems such as alcohol, creates a need for an income any way possible" says Mathilde Perez, a hopeful applicant to the program.

"If we can use our knowledge of the area, especially the knowledge of the beach and turtles, in order to make a living, many people in the village would be interested. It is providing us with a future, giving us the tools we need to create our own future, and we need to take advantage of this opportunity"

The word is getting around the village, that we are looking for responsible, motivated people to take part in this program. 

All we ask in return is commitment, and a desire to change circumstances.

creating awareness
creating awareness

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Sep 8, 2014

purchase of much needed materials!

To all our donors,

We have finally received our first disbursement - and we are excited to inform you all that $1963 has arrived in Costa Rica!

This time of year, we are working approximately 3 or 4 turtles every night, with some nights we have 10 or 12 turtles in Playa Buenavista. Peak Season is here, so we need to get this hatchery shipshape.

We currently have 180 nests incubating , which cannot be disturbed for the 45 to 60 days it takes for the hatchlings to gestate.

So repairs will start on the far side of the hatchery and we have made our first purchase of netting and wire to reinforce the hatchery walls.

We have also purchased boxes of latex gloves, biodegradable bags for collecting eggs, iodine and gauzes for tagging turtles  - these items are a priority for the day to care care of the turtles and hactchlings - to prevent any contamiination to the fragile eggs, and the newborns.

The last item we have purchased for this week are red light filters. Turtles being light sensitive creatures,  find white flashlights too harsh - so all artificial lights will now have a red filter.

All of this, amounts to just 12% of your generous donation - so you can see that  your donations go such a long way. All items are gratefully received by the staff at the research station, and as soon as we have the other materials that we have order I will post some photos of the hatchery in process!

Thanks again for all of your support!

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