11 / Jul / 2020
The lifeblood of our Sea Turtle Protection Program — our International volunteers.
For 15 years, our Sea Turtle program has been helping thousands of baby sea turtles make it to the ocean.
By the end of 2019, we had protected approximately 9,650 nests, and released close to 90,400 baby turtles. Thanks to the protection of the nests on the beach, another 720,000 should have made it to the ocean.
In 2020, we had launched three projects in three different communities; two of them now run by local leaders.
We have been able to achieve this level of success because of committed donors, biologists, assistants, and local and international volunteers all of whom supported our efforts with their time, talent, passion, and yes, their generous financial support.
Protecting 100 to 180 nesting sea turtle moms on our beaches is not a priority to prominent NGO’s supporting conservation. The numbers are not significant enough to attract their support.
But here on the Osa Peninsula, the decimation of the population will cause the local ecosystem to deteriorate. When a specie disappears, a critical balance is broken.
Without our international volunteers we are struggling.
We have only been able to maintain the program through the support of volunteers that come to work on the beach and pay their food, lodging, and part of the cost of the project.
Biologists and assistants either donate their time in exchange for food and accommodation or charge us the bare minimum they can, to protect these reptiles.
Our volunteers are the front-line warriors of conservation, working endless nights to protect the sea turtles and facing all kinds of challenges.
But with the COVID-19 pandemic, came challenges we simply could not predict. Our international volunteers and biologist are enable to fly as Costa Rica’s borders are still closed.
We have lost the dozens of international volunteers who come each season to stand vigil protecting the nesting sites from predators, including human poachers.
COVID-19 also shut down Costa Rica’s vital tourism industry, leaving entire towns unemployed. With dwindling income for food and other essentials, even communities concerned about their surrounding natural resources are seeing their only options as hunting, gold panning, or logging.
We need you!
Sea turtles and their nests are easy prey for desperate people. Sea turtle mothers are slow, and their meat is very well-liked.
The turtle’s eggs are considered a delicacy and men eat them as an aphrodisiac. Therefore, sea turtles have been in significant demand in Costa Rica for decades, but more so now that jobs are scarce, and incomes have shrunk due to the lack of tourism.
To meet this challenge, we hire local people, paying the much-needed full salaries in the communities.
To afford these salaries and the food, we have requested the support of some of our most committed donors.
They have come up with enough partial funding to get us through 75% of the season. However, we need at least $6,000 USD more to bring the project to December to complete the full nesting season.
So, this year, more than ever before, we need your help, no matter the amount. You can donate or adopt a nest at www.corcovadofoudation.org/donar.
This is a great time to become a virtual volunteer and help us make it to the end of the year.