Friday, January 3, 2014
Day Five and Six: Baulas National Park
What a neat place. We stayed in volunteer houses and played on the beach by day but our work shifts started at 7pm both nights and did not end until after midnight. We hiked to a nearby beach and helped the biologists there with sea turtle conservation and research. The main species of sea turtle found at that beach is the pacific green turtle (also known as the black turtle) and boy, are they huge! We walked the beach to find turtles emerging from the ocean to lay their eggs and followed them and watched and waited patiently for them to dig their body cavity and then the whole for the eggs. At that time, we dug a hole next to the turtle’s back leg and carefully removed the eggs as she was laying them. We did this to hide the location from human poachers and also to hide the scent from animals such as raccoons that go after the eggs. We got to see some baby sea turtles emerging from one hole and it was so magical to watch them head toward the ocean!
At this location we also got to take a mangrove tour which was really neat. We saw alligators and white ibises and sandpipers. We also saw a lot of crabs. The maze of mangrove roots was astounding and our guide taught us all about mangrove ecology as well as conservation issues in Costa Rica.
This is a great location for anyone interested in volunteering with sea turtle conservation.
Showing off our yooper tans at Baulus.