With 50 babies to the beach…

Yessss!! You read that right. 50 babies… baby turtles, that is.

Tango Mar supports the “Tambor Bay Turtles” project that works to protect turtles – hawksbill turtles in this case.

Turtles nest mainly from July to December, the peak month being September. A hawksbill turtle has 1 to 3 nests per season, the first has between 95 and 120 eggs, the next a little less.

The nests are visible by the marks that the mother turtle leaves in the sand when coming from the sea and returning there. But that way, they are also easy to find by poachers who sell the eggs even if it is prohibited in Costa Rica, as well as dogs and some birds such as the black hawk.

In nature, of 1000 eggs, in the end less than half reach the sea and only 20 reach adulthood. In the project, more than 3,300 baby turtles have already been released into the sea this year, 90% of the eggs collected.

Therefore, during the nesting period, project volunteers patrol the beach every day to find nests and transport the eggs (in bags and with sand, so as not to touch them) to a safe place where they simulate the nest and protect it for 45 days, which is when the little turtles start to hatch.

The babies hatch at night, and once they reach the surface, they must go to the water soon. So, again with gloves, they are collected and put in cardboard boxes to be taken to the beach a few meters from the sea, in an area where there is no problem for them to find the water on their own.

When we visited the project, we were lucky that 50 hatched that night, and I was able to attend the liberation. Pure emotion, seeing those little turtles move clumsily at first, then with more confidence, and at the end let themselves be carried away by a wave.

To guide them, Olger, the project coordinator in Tambor, stands with a white light in the water. And with red light we go in search of those who accidentally take the wrong direction. Until the 50 reach the water.

For this work, the project needs volunteers between July and December. During the year 2022, 115 signed up, but in 2023 only 24.

If you want to volunteer or financially support the project, talk to Olger García, at 8389-3336, or send your support to one of the bank accounts indicated below.

All patrolling, egg collection and monitoring activities are under the strict rules, licenses and permits of SINAC, the National Conservation System of Costa Rica.