Sea Turtle Conservation
Playa del Coco
Playa del Coco is the twenty kilometre, white sand beach that
stretches from Isla Navidad to the mouth of the Marabasco
In 1980, seeing hundreds of sea turtles coming up on the beach
in a single day, was a common sight. Now, fifty years later, only a
handful of turtles return to our beach each day.
Danger of extinction
The harvesting has stopped but the few turtles that are coming back to lay eggs, are not enough to rebuild the population. Turtle eggs have long been a source of food on Playa del Coco. Raccoons, tahonies, birds, dogs, fish and humans, all take their toll. Biologists say “ the chances of a baby turtle reaching maturity is less than one in a thousand”.
The harvesting has stopped but the few turtles that are coming back to lay eggs, are not enough to rebuild the population
How is it Done
When a track is spotted, a probe is used to find the nest. The nests can be 20 cm below the surface (Olive Ridley) to a meter deep (Leatherback). When the nest is located, the eggs are carefully removed and replanted in our hatchery.
The nests are transplanted
Protect them from predators and poachers. Without the protection of the hatchery, very few of the baby turtles would reach the ocean. In 40 to 50 days, the turtle eggs hatch. We keep them in the hatchery, and release them just before sunset.