Since 2013, Costa Rica’s dry tropical forests have been under siege from loggers looking to cash in on skyrocketing demand for precious hardwoods, especially cocobolo (Dalbergia retusa), also known as tropical rosewood. The illegal logging of cocobolo and other precious hardwoods threatens Costa Rica’s famous but understaffed national parks as loggers look to protected areas as the last untapped source of valuable lumber for export.
Police in Limón have rescued a second green sea turtle in as many weeks that was likely destined for a soup pot.
The endangered sea turtle sustained two large gashes, likely from harpoons used to catch it, along with injuries caused by cords used to tie it up. The turtle is undergoing treatment at the Jaguar Rescue Center in Puerto Viejo.
Police arrested four men Thursday for killing two green sea turtles on Costa Rica's Caribbean Coast. Two of the suspects had rap sheets for drug charges.
In three separate busts on different coasts, Costa Rican police officers and Coast Guard officials seized a total of 442 sea turtle eggs on Monday and Tuesday.
"[Police] found an enormous leatherback turtle in the trunk," said a press release from the Public Security Ministry. "It was alive and flapping its fins as if asking for help."
In the early morning Wednesday, police nabbed a woman with the last names Cerdas Viales, who is suspected of poaching sea turtle eggs on Moín Beach near the Caribbean port city of Limón.
Park rangers on June 14 detained a boat fishing illegally near Cocos Island National Park, a protected marine area more than 300 miles from Costa Rica's Pacific Coast. The boat's fishermen had hooked 11 sharks on their longlines before the rangers intervened.
Costa Rican Olympians will light the independence cauldron on Tuesday night in Cartago, the Presidency announced.