This week, we had the pleasure of conducting our first Osa Conservation staff training for sea turtle patrols. The event was very productive for everyone, reinforcing knowledge for some, and training others for the first time.
For me, the most interesting part of it all was the fieldwork, where for the first time this season, all of the land conservation staff, volunteers, Max, Manuel Sánchez, and myself (a total of 13 people) conducted a turtle patrol of Pejeperro Beach. We left the Piro Biological Station at 7:30 pm with our flashlights and our fieldwork equipment, and after we walked all the way to sector 10, we encountered our first nesting turtle that was just beginning to excavate her nest. While she was digging, Manuel demonstrated to us the data collection process, including tagging turtles, marking tracks, performing basic health assessments, and other things. After making these techniques clear to everyone, we were eager to perform the tasks ourselves.
The night wore on and we finally returned to Piro. We encountered a total of eight turtles and 10 tracks by the end of the night. We returned to the station at 4 am, a little tired but very satisfied with the work we had done.
Larry Villalobos is Osa Conservation’s Station Manager, based at the Piro Biological Station in the Osa Peninsula. To learn more about the Osa Conservation Sea Turtle Volunteer Program, visit our website. Apply today to visit the Osa and patrol for turtles!
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