Rio Oro beach in the Osa Peninsula
As the 2014 nesting season draws to a close, we reflect back upon a record-breaking year in Drake Bay. For the first time ever the community turtle association, ACOTPRO, has successfully co-managed the turtle season, coordinating their night patrols, constructing their own hatchery and hosting their own sea turtle festival. The homestay network has earned over $27,000 in five months (around $3,500 per household) and a record-breaking 96 volunteers have arrived.
Despite this success, without the income from private donations the turtle program could not have taken place in 2014. For this reason we want to say a huge thank you to everyone who donated this year – you made the difference between the eggs being saved or being poached!
Since July, over 150 turtles have crawled onto Drake beach, leaving over 100 nests, 95% of which have been safely relocated to the hatchery. So far 3,000 tiny hatchlings have been released into the sea, and we are expecting to release another 3,000 before the end of the year.
Several Green turtles have also nested this year, continuing the trend of a year-on-year increase for this species since 2011. This is really positive news because the Green turtle, which is much more endangered than the Olive Ridley, was thought to have been lost forever from Drake Bay for many years. As the Corcovado Foundation hands over responsibility for the conservation to ACOTPRO, the community can claim stewardship of a turtle nesting beach with a bright future ahead of it.
Meanwhile, on the other side of the Osa Peninsula, the most important Green turtle nesting site on the Pacific coast of Costa Rica, Río Oro beach, remains without any protection at all. The Corcovado Foundation has now won a grant to help establish a brand new program at this unique location, and the protection will start from July 2015.
However, due to the limits of the funding provided there is a shortfall for the construction of the base camp. The program aims to raise $10,000 before construction begins in May 2015, starting today!
Please help us to start the campaign with a bang and make a donation today. Join the effort alongside our volunteers and the local community to bring an end to poaching in the Osa, and protect the most important Green turtle beach on Costa Rica’s Pacific coast!
Thank you, and watch this space for more info about the new program.
Volunteers working with the community in Drake Bay
Turtle tracks and a nest on Rio Oro beach