LIFE

Sea turtles of Costa Rica threatened by pollution, egg poaching

It is the start of nesting season in Costa Rica. Each year between the months of July and October, hundreds of olive ridley sea turtles land on the beaches to lay their eggs.

It's known as "arribadas" which translates to 'arrivals' and it is also a time of celebration for the local community. The nesting season have drawn hundreds of locals and tourists alike to witness nature at work.

The turtles are a protected species but their eggs are a local delicacy for the people.

For years the unrestricted harvest of turtle eggs, combined with the accumulation of garbage on the beach, greatly diminished the number of turtles coming to the area, putting the survival of the species in danger.

In recent years another threat was added to the many risks the sea turtles and their eggs were exposed to.

Hundreds of tourists used to flock to the beach to see the arribada and take photos but often people would unintentionally walk on the turtle nests and destroy or damage them.

Tourism activities are now controlled. Groups are now limited to 10 people at a time, under the supervision of an official community tour guide, for a time ranging from 30 to 45 minutes.

The female turtles are in charge of protecting the eggs and the safe return of baby turtles to the sea.

Each turtle digs a small nest in the sand, lays around 100 eggs and then quickly returns to the sea.

07.11.2018
Contact Us