During this past July, while walking through the Cerro Osa forest, Agustín Mendoza, one of the most charismatic members of Osa Conservation’s conservation and land management team, heard sounds and a great deal of activity at the top of the canopy. As he came closer to the site, he realized that the clamor was coming exclusively from a Zapote tree (Pauteria Sp). This tree was full of juicy fruits characterized by an exquisite orange color and a sweet scent that invaded the monotonous serenity of the forest. In the top of the tree he found a complete troop of spider monkeys that jumped from branch to branch, 35 meters in the air, taking advantage of the sudden abundance of this unusual feast.
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.