“If you are a sea turtle the odds are against you!” I read somewhere. This could not be truer. Only 1 in 1000 sea turtle eggs become adults old enough to reproduce. Only 1 of every 10 eggs hatch in nature. This is because crabs, dogs, racoons and coatis eat the eggs in the nest and after hatching, birds eat them on their first trip to the ocean. That is if humans don’t steal the whole nest before. In some places 90% of the nests are lost as a result of human poaching.
The few hatchlings that make it to the ocean are eaten by fish and other predators. Those that survive can then face numerous human threats like fishing nets and plastic pollution that prevent them from getting to a reproductive age.
Our sea turtle conservation project in Osa (and others all over the country and the world) remove many of these threats by relocating the eggs to a nursery, where they are protected 24/7 and then released to the ocean as soon as they are born. (Don’t miss our video). By removing all the threats until the hatchlings make it to the sea, we are giving them a better chance to make it to adulthood and reproduce, which is key to the survival of the species. By doing this, experts think that their odds improve from 1 in a 1000 to 1 in a 100. So that is what we are doing here! We are trying to make give sea turtles a better odd of survival.
Currently there are seven species of sea turtles in our oceans, and all of them are in danger of extinction. Rincon Beach receives 3 of these species: Olive Ridley (vulnerable), Green Turtle (endanger) and Hawksbill (critically endanger). During this semester we relocated 82 nests and we have freed 2833 hatchlings so far, we are still waiting on some of those nests to hatch. Our team will be watching over those nests during the holidays and past the new year to make sure these guys make it to the sea. Those are 28 more seaturtles that will make it to adulthood rather than 2.
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