leatherback sea turtles
Around the new moon, a great sight usually occurs on the Pacific Coast of the Costa Rican beaches. It's called the arribadas and is...
Even in Playa Grande -- the last mass nesting beach in the Eastern Pacific for critically endangered leatherbacks -- menus largely feature seafood caught by longlines and trawling nets, fishing practices that have devastating impacts on sea turtles.
PLAYA OSTIONAL, Guanacaste – By 7 p.m., it is already impossibly dark to read the signs on buildings. Every 100 meters or so, a singular yellow street lamp illuminates a small, dim area of the dirt road. The road is bumpy and it is dangerously difficult to see the dips and holes from dried tire marks in the mud.
Every year, from late February through July, leatherback sea turtles haul themselves onto Costa Rica’s Caribbean coast to lay their eggs, and every year, egg poachers are there to greet them.
In February, endangered leatherback sea turtles will begin nesting on Moín Beach, where conservationist Jairo Mora was killed by poachers last May. Police and government officials have no plans to protect the turtles, and environmentalists are now pushing to designate the area as a national park. But even that would be too late for this year's baby turtles.