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leatherback turtles costa rica

We spotted these turtle tracks on Carrillo Beach yesterday morning.

leatherback turtles costa rica

The wide spacing between the fins suggests a very large nesting female,

probably a rare and endangered Leatherback Turtle rather than our more common Olive Ridley.  Comments?

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turtle hatch playa carrillo

At Playa Carrillo this morning, we came across small turtle tracks, the evidence of hatchlings scrambling towards the surf.

olive ridley turtles playa carrillo costa rica

It looks like at least 25 of them foiled the poachers, the dogs, and the vultures to reach the sea.

A couple of weeks ago, I introduced many of my readers to the spanish word “arribada” when I referred to the arrival of Costa Rican tourists from San Jose to the beach.   That was tongue in cheek, but this week we have the real thing: Olive Ridley Turtles nesting at Playa Camaronal.
Steve and I drove down in the afternoon – the new culvert/bridge over the Rio Oro makes Playa Camaronal just 26 minutes from our house.  We hit the beach an hour before dusk, giving us time to explore this beautiful, often deserted piece of sand.  That day there were a lot of surfers because Camaronal is one of the major breaks in the area.  Consequently, it's not a great beach for swimming but there were lots of people hanging out, waiting for the turtles.  Read More

Steve and Miga found these turtle tracks on the beach this morning.  The Olive Ridely Turtles climb the beach  in the moonlight looking for just the right sand in which to lay their eggs.  They dig a hole, using their flippers as delicately as teaspoons and  drop 100-120 eggs into a hole about 6-8″ diameter and 3 feet deep.  The sex of the baby turtle is determined by the temperature of ths sand around the egg, usually caused by its location in thenest.  But increasingly, global warming is affecting the tempertuer of the sand and hence the sex of the hatchilings.  That can’ t be good for the species.