The Leatherback Sea Turtles of Costa Rica, Largest Sea Turtle on Earth!
SPEAK FOR THESE CREATURES WHICH CAN NOT SPEAK FOR THEMSELVES
The leatherback sea turtle is the world’s largest sea turtle and is in danger of becoming extinct. In Costa Rica, it nests on the beaches of Tortuguero National Park during the months of March through May. One can go with a park ranger at night to see these turtles nesting but you may not take photos because the light disturbs the turtles. These turtles have survived for over one hundred million years but now are considered endangered and are under protection because their numbers are decreasing around the world. The Leatherback sea turtle can be found in every ocean in the world except the Arctic Ocean and and Antarctic Ocean.
If you are vacationing in Costa Rica during the months of February through May you have a great chance to see Leatherback sea turtle nesting in the southern Caribbean coastlines of Costa Rica. Especially in a protected area called Gandoca-Manzanillo Wildlife Reserve on the very southern tip of Costa Rica’s southern Caribbean coastline.
Also the Leatherback sea turtle nests on the Northwestern Pacific beaches of Costa Rica in large number in Las Baulas National Park during the months of November through April.
This area is especially popular with tourists because it is near by the popular tourist town of Tamarindo where tourist from all over world come to enjoy the sunshine and the warm Pacific Ocean.
There are many reasons that the Leatherback sea turtle is endangered. 1. Eggs are stolen from the nesting sites for consumption by the locals. They claim the eggs are aphrodisiacs.
Killed in fishing lines and struck by boats. 3. Coastal developments damage and destroy nesting sites. Examples of this is homes and condos being built along the beach, bringing large numbers of people who interfere with the turtles nesting rituals.
4. Global Warming which warms the temperatures of the oceans is affecting the food supply of the leatherback. Also, large amounts of plastics are being dumped into the oceans by boats and the leatherback sea turtle thinks it is good to eat, but it is very harmful to the turtles digestive system.
It is estimated that only one in one thousand hatchlings survive to adulthood.
How can We help Protect the Leatherback Sea Turtle? By joining the efforts of The World Wildlife Fund which works with fisheries around the world to decrease the numbers being caught. Also local communities ban together and protect critical nesting sites. We see this in Tortuguero, Costa Rica on the Northwest Caribbean Coast and also in the Northwestern Beaches of Guanacaste where the Costa Rica government has established the Las Baulas National Park to work with the locals to protect these turtles and also to give tourist an opportunity to learn about the world’s largest marine turtle.
Tourism to Costa Rica has brought a large number of dollars into the country and part of this money has been used wisely by the Costa Rican government to help develop these National Parks and Wildlife Refuges. Costa Rica Learn strives to provide those of you thinking of a vacation in Costa Rica with on going helpful travel tips and other valuable information on travel to Costa Rica. Our information is categorized on page one of our web page. so please check out these categories to find information on your topic of interest.
It is difficult to realize just how large the leatherback sea turtle is by looking at the photo below. They can grow to a shell length of 1.7 meters and weight up to 900 kg (approx 2,000 lb). Indeed the largest sea turtle on earth!
Learn more about Las Baulas National Marine Park at www.costarica-nationalparks.com/lasbaulasnational marinepark.html