Tortuguero: The Most Desirable Area for Spotting Nesting Sea Turtles
There is a hidden but increasingly popular charm stowed away on the Northern Caribbean coast of Costa Rica. Tortuguero is located in the Western Hemisphere and is known to be the largest nesting area and spotting sight for green sea turtles. The green sea turtle is one of several endangered species of animals that repeatedly visit this truly exceptional area of Costa Rica and are taken into great consideration in terms of love and protection. In fact, Tortuguero has been mentioned in several critically acclaimed magazines as a crown jewel of Costa Rica. It is definitely a place worth visiting when you wish to view something majestic and beautiful.
Nesting Period of the Green Sea Turtle
Amongst the loggerheads, hawksbills and leatherbacks that often frequent the protected beaches of Tortuguero, the chelonian mydas, more commonly known as the green sea turtle, are the most collective species found in this area. You can find the official nesting season of green sea turtles from July 1st through October 31st. If you’re lucky, a tourist may find a female gracelessly trudging along the coast shores in the early weeks of November as well.
The Miracle of Life is Revealed in the Evenings
Green sea turtle tours are led during the evenings by trained and experienced guides. They are highly popular tours and mostly held late in the evening as that is when the greater part of all action can be seen. With quiet footsteps and inconspicuous infrared lights, you are bound to see these incredible female creatures digging deep holes into the sand and depositing approximately 100-110 eggs at a time. She buries her eggs in this demeanor so that they will be protected and nurtured under the warming rays of the morning sun. During this event, you are also likely to view about 2-5 different ancient reptiles with the help of your tour guide. The most interesting part of this process is waiting to see the future sex of each sea turtle, as their sex depends on the temperature of the sand that holds their incubation. They are typically underneath sand for 50-70 days.
Preservation and Efforts to Protect Endangered Sea Turtles and Marine Species
Costa Rica takes great measures to protect our endangered species; including the green sea turtle and other marine reptile species. Turtle conservation is a popular and hot topic in the community of Tortuguero. There have been great strides made to promote turtle conservation, such as: tagging, protection of nesting sites, general data collection, proper employment of educated tour guides and other strategies used over 50 years of charting this species. The goal is to maintain sea turtle populations for future generations to come, which is why a portion of all green sea turtle proceeds goes to the preservation efforts. Currently, the Sea Turtle Conservancy has an updated estimate of nesting females that ranges in numbers from 85,000-90,000 worldwide.