Turtle Conservation in San Miguel

This week we have had the opportunity to work with Turtle Trax. This project has been helping to save turtle nests on San Miguel beach since 1996 (close to the town of Coyote, San Miguel is a tiny beach town on the Pacific Coast of Costa Rica in the province of Guanacaste). Funded by private donors and by volunteers like us, Turtle Trax organizes nightly patrols during the nesting season in the hopes of moving nests to the hatchery (vivero) before poachers – who eat or sell the eggs – can get to them.

On the first night we all got to witness two amazing events. One group found a turtle laying her eggs on the beach. While the mother is laying, her trance-like state allows for us to be able to get up close to her while one person collects the eggs and others collect data, such as her dimensions and the number that is pinned on her fins. As this was happening, the other group found hatchlings in the hatchery! We all were able to see as over one hundred baby olive ridley turtles began their difficult journey to the ocean.

In the nights that followed, patrol groups were able to see more and more of these magnificent events. We take turns doing each job so that everyone has a chance to participate. So far, we have moved 725 eggs to the hatchery and released 362 baby turtles into the ocean!

We spend our days hanging out by the beach, catching up on sleep and enjoying each other’s company. We took a beautiful hike to a waterfall on Monday. We also spent a couple hours helping in a beach clean up. The group is having an amazing time on this beautiful beach! We try to make the most of each minute that we have here!