Since 2005, our sea turtle conservation program has worked with international volunteers and local communities to protect sea turtles from poaching and create sustainable income for rural families. After successfully handing over our Drake Bay site to the local association this year, we are now working in Rio Oro. This beach is one of the most important sea turtle spots in the South Pacific of Costa Rica. In 2015, we registered more than 3000 nests and protected 94% of them from poachers.
Rio Oro beach has been on our radar for many years as an important site for both olive ridley and green sea turtles. Prior to beginning our work here in 2015, the beach was not being protected. Due to its remote location, a deserted road leading right up to the sand and a huge expanse of beach- Rio Oro was a poachers' buffet. This area of the Osa has only a tiny local community that largely depends on ecotourism. They desperately need our help to protect these beautiful creatures!
Volunteers and locals patrol the beach throughout the night in 6 hour shifts. Our presence on the beach and in the local community discourages poachers from attempting to steal sea turtle eggs. By working with our neighboring organizations (COTORCO to the south and Osa Conservation to the north) we can fill in the conservation gap along the coastline and create a completely protected corridor. Volunteers also have the opportunity to contribute to ecotourism and community activities in the area.
Over the years, there has been very little stability of sea turtle conservation in Rio Oro. The Corcovado Foundation is committed to protecting this important site long-term. This will not only greatly improve the survival rates of sea turtles here, but will also provide consistent scientific data that can be shared with other projects. We also plan to create a permanent research station which can be used by volunteers and as a tourism information/education center to help local businesses.
This project has provided additional documentation in a PDF file (projdoc.pdf).
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