The 2017 turtle season had good beginning, and it is expected to be a good nesting season, since most of the nesting beaches of the South Pacific of Costa Rica have shown a high nesting rate.
The Corcovado Foundation’s sea turtle program is supporting two sea turtle conservation efforts in the Osa Peninsula. The first one is in Rio Oro Beach, Carate. This initiative was started by the Corcovado Foundation and then the local organization COTORCO assumed the responsibilities of running it. The Corcovado Foundation has provided COTORCO with equipment, beach manuals, technical support and finding volunteers. The other one is in Rincon, located in San Josecito Beach, North of the Corcovado National Park. Here the foundation is collaborating with the Osa Foundation Organization.
In Río Oro, more than 1000 nests of olive riddley have been counted to date and more than 300 have been seen and tagged by field assistants. Ten volunteers from the Corcovado Foundation and several groups have supported the program through patrols and beach surveys. Also, several gold miners of the community have joined the project and are doing census and counting nests to increase the vigilance and to diminish the poaching in the zone. On August 20, Cotorco held the Sea Turtles Festival in Carate and an ecobike ride, to show the community the project and raise funds for it. In Rincón, the “Mama Carey Project”, is located at Guaria de Osa and it has been ran by the Osa Foundation. The Corcovado Foundation’s assistants with the help of 5 Spanish volunteers and a local member of the community, have already finished the nursery for about 100 nests. To this date there are already 15 nests in this nursery and 5 more on the beach. We are already waiting for the first births. The nursery on the beach is very important, since climate change and invasive plants have deprived seaturtles of nesting grounds. There is not enough beach to nest and nests located to low are flooded by the tide. The presence of the volunteers, discourages poachers and has meant that the poaching has decreased considerably. Volunteers are teaching English twice a week to the small adult community in the area and will soon start teaching English and environmental education to the small school in Rincon with 6 children of various ages.
We are also trying to start a project in Punta Mala Playa Hermosa Wildlife Refuge, where according to park officials around 3000 seaturtles are nesting per season and about a 98% of them are lost to poachers. Which makes it urgent that we start a project there.