Baby Green Turtles making their way to the sea!
The beach at Tortuguero where we are based has been a nesting point for Green, Leatherback, Hawksbill, and Loggerhead turtles for centuries. After a long period of turtle exploitation for meat, the economy at Tortuguero has switched from being poaching-based to a more sustainable eco-tourism base, turning poaching into a highly illegal activity.
It is wonderful to start seeing more and more turtles coming to the beach to nest each year and it is always an exciting time of year for us!
In order to assess the efficiency of this conservation effort in protecting the populations of the turtles nesting at Tortuguero National Park, in partnership with the Sea Turtle Conservancy (STC), GVI Jalova conducts night surveys termed as ‘night walks’ in order to record any and all turtle sightings as they come up on the beach to lay their eggs.
During night walks, volunteers walk on the beach in order locate these turtles and tag them with a unique number so that the information may be added to the ever-growing database. If a turtle is spotted digging her egg chamber and eggs can be counted, staff and volunteers will triangulate the nest so that hatching success may be calculated. Volunteers get to participate in a unique experience by having the chance to count the eggs that are laid by the turtle themselves. With the beginning of June came the start of the Green turtle season which will be monitored for number of nests and hatching success all through June to November.
What we've seen so far
Thanks to the contributions of the volunteers at the GVI Jalova base, 2 Green, 2 Hawksbill, and 2 Leatherback turtle nests have been marked already this season. We were also able to do triangulation and eggs were counted in order to further monitor the hatching success. We were also very excited to discover that 3 individuals from each of the three species observed were marked with new tags and added to the database!
Thank you for your continuous support of this project!
GVI Costa Rica