Cahuita Turtle Rescue


donated by Herpetofauna


The leatherback turtle (Dermochelys coriacea) is the largest turtle species in the world and can weigh up to 850 kilos. They can dive deeper than most other species and their primary food consists of jellyfish.

In recent years many animals have been killed as they eat plastic bags, mistaking it for food. Moreover, the places where these animals can safely deposit their eggs have declined enormously. This is partly due to tourism, but also because of the threats to the nests from poachers and predators. Especially in Costa Rica it is a cultural phenomenon to collect and eat turtle eggs. Additionally, the presence of trash and many predators (some of which are invasive such as dogs and cats) results in a reduction of hatched eggs. All together this means that the turtle population cannot recover.

Cahuita Turtle Rescue aims to solve tis by taking turtle nests to safety and incubating the eggs in their breeding center. The young animals are thereafter released again, so that a higher percentage of young animals reach the sea safely. They also take care of injured and stranded animals and they rescue animals from fishing nets when needed.

Patrolling the beaches takes a lot of time and the logistics are time consuming and expensive. The Herpetofauna Foundation supports Cahuita financially, so that they can continue to carry out these activities.

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