Blogpost written by Marina Garrido, Sea Turtle Volunteer
World Sea Turtle Day was just last week and the sea turtle team at Osa Conservation was super excited. Why? Because to us, it is not just a day, but a day in which we hope the whole world can remember and think about, even if just for a moment, these amazing animals.
Sea turtles are one of the most ancient animals alive. They belong to the family Quelonidae, which also encompasses terrestrial turtles. One interesting fact about sea turtles, is that unlike the terrestrial turtles, they cannot hide their bodies inside their shells.
Currently, there are seven sea turtle species swimming in the seas and oceans. Costa Rica is home to four of these species including: the Olive ridley, the Pacific Green turtle, the Hawksbill and the Leatherback. All four of them can be found in the Osa Peninsula!
All sea turtle species are considered highly endangered. Here in Osa Conservation, we are conserving and protecting sea turtles to make a change. How do we do it? We patrol two beaches every day, looking for turtle tracks. If we find a nest, we move it to the hatchery in order to protect it. Thanks to the hatchery we can control the nests and study them to improve the success of the hatchlings. For example, one of the things we control is the temperature of the nests. Why? The sea turtles are reptiles and therefore the temperature surrounding the nest determines gender. Females are born on high temperatures and males on low temperatures. Unfortunately, the temperatures have increased in the past few years due to climate change, and so, more females are being born than males.
We have been very successful in protecting the turtles thanks to the help of everyone that comes to volunteer. Last year we set around 15,000 hatchlings free. Still we need a lot of help from all of you! Below you can find a little list of things you can do to help the sea turtles:
- Do not throw any trash into the ocean.
- Clean the beaches as you walk and close to where you spend time.
- Reuse and Recycle.
- Use reusable fabric bags instead of plastic bags.
IT DOESN’T HAVE TO BE SEA TURTLE DAY FOR YOU TO HELP THE TURTLES. YOU CAN MAKE CHANGE HAPPEN!