To protect nesting females and their eggs from poachers, we are conducting nightly patrols throughout the nesting season. We stay with the females until they have returned to the water and we relocate their nests to safer spots if necessary and camouflage those nests that are left natural. We mark each turtle (except the hatchlings) with flipper tags and internal passive transponder tags (PITs) to estimate population size. We further collect data on the reproductive output and health of the population. At the end of each nesting season, we are excavating each nest to estimate the hatching success rate and the numbers of hatchlings (babies) produced.
To study feeding sea turtles in Costa Rican waters, we conduct in-water surveys throughout the year. We use entanglement nets or hand-capture sea turtles. We then mark them and measure them before we release them back into the water.
To study the in-water movements of our sea turtle populations, we attach satellite transmitters to a some individuals to follow their travels during the nesting season, as well as post-nesting migrations to their feeding grounds.
ENVIRONMENTAL EDUCATION & CAPACITY BUILDING
To guarantee the safety of sea turtles and their eggs and prevent their poaching in future, we want to achieve a true cultural change in the way how local communities think of sea turtles and how they interact with them. To accomplish this, we are engaging in environmental education of the next generation and are also organising capacity building activities to encourage different ways of income.
To create alternative income for the communities adjacent to sea turtle nesting beaches, and to discourage the exploitive use of sea turtles, we support touristic activities related to sea turtles (tours and volunteering), as well as ecotourism related to community development and agriculture.