Sunday, September 8, 2013

Jason at Fundacion Corcovado (the turtle place)

By Jason
At Drake Bay, Costa Rica

Jason with Rob James, Director of Fundacion Corcovado

At Fundacion Corcovado we put in turtle nest traps.  The way they work, when a turtle hatches it will hit the trap and stay.  It doesn’t hurt the turtle, but it keeps them in one place, so that they don’t escape and they can count how many turtles hatched.  After they count how many turtles have hatched, they pick them up and put them into a bucket to put them on the sand on the beach so they can go toward the ocean.  Why they put them on the sand is so they have a better chance of reaching the ocean, and they don’t get killed by crabs and birds that might want to eat them.

Why they put them on the beach instead of the ocean is they want them to remember the beach so that they lay their eggs there when they get to be adults.

On the runway walking to the beach where the turtles' nests are

The hatchery before we put in the turtle nest traps

Digging the hole for a turtle nest trap
Video of Jason, Oscar, & Mama putting a turtle trap in

Hatchery after we put in the turtle nest traps

Turtle eggs that haven't hatched yet in a turtle nest

Most of the turtles that nest there are Olive Ridley sea turtles.  But they did find one  green sea turtle nest and one dead baby.  It was probably killed by a crab.

Baby green turtle that was probably killed by a crab
The turtles can lay over 100 eggs so it’s normal that a few die.

Here is more information about sea turtles from research that I did.

Why turtles nest on land and not in the ocean (this was a question I had about sea turtles):
- Babies have to breathe air

Nesting steps:
1. Body pit, digging with flippers as the female sea turtle turns her body around
2. Egg cavity: The sea turtle digs with its back flippers to make a hole that looks like a tear drop that the eggs go in.
3. Lays eggs: 80-120 eggs in one nest (the eggs are flexible - it allows the females to hold more eggs and the eggs don't break when they hit the bottom of the egg cavity)
4. She covers the egg cavity with sand.
5. Throws sand in all directions to disguise the nest so that predators don't find the eggs.
6. She goes back into the ocean to return to the feeding place.

1 comment:

  1. Hey guys! I love seeing you help out sea turtles!!

    There is a community in Oaxaca, Mexico, called Mazunte, which is a nesting ground for sea turtles. The people of Mazunte used to make a living by killing sea turtles to "harvest" their shells. The people would make combs and other items from the shells. Eventually they began to run out of turtles, and many people didn't like killing these gentle creatures.
    A smart lady visited the community and saw that the industry of items made from turtle shells was not sustainable, and that the community members could actually feed their families better if the community agreed to change the base of their local economy to ecotourism. Ecotourism is what people do when they make a special trip somewhere to see unique plants and animals that are native to that place. The community embraced this proposal, and is now thriving by helping conserve the turtles!
    This same smart lady also set up a small beauty product factory (a very, very small factory)which produces organic lotions from locally harvested plants. This minor industry also helps the community members keep food on the table.
    Talk about a win-win situation!
    Thank you for sharing your experience with the turtles - they are so amazing and graceful (in the water!).