Estacion las Tortugas, Costa Rica (May 2010)

Beach at Estacion las Tortugas

After a three hour drive and a 30-minute boat ride from San Jose, we arrive at Estacion las Tortugas (Turtle Station).  I first visited the station in 2006 and I keep returning each May.  The draw – hands-on conservation work with leatherback sea turtles (Dermochelys coriacea), a critically endangered species.

The hatchlings are off....

The month of May is jam-packed with leatherback activity at the station.  Females still arrive on the beach under the cover of darkness to lay their eggs and hatchlings begin to emerge from their sandy nests.  Volunteers staying at the station participate in nightly turtle patrols and these efforts help reduce poaching, aiding in leatherback conservation.

During this year’s three-night stay, our group worked with eight nesting females and released more than 50 hatchlings.  Estacion las Tortugas was, once again, the highlight of my annual May trip to Costa Rica.


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