1. The principle objective of the project is to protect the adult female turtles that frequent Buenavista, and their nests, from human predators and wildlife, natural events such as beach erosion and flooding due to the high amounts of rainfall in nesting season. This is achieved by the construction of a “hatchery”
2. Another main objective is to detail the dynamics of nesting activity using the collection of data which enables us to ask the following questions
What species of turtle nests at Buenavista? Where and when do they nest? How many times does one female nest here in a season? What happens to the eggs and how many hatchlings are produced from one clutch of eggs?
3. Finally, we aim to distribute all of this information, along with basic information about the biology and conservation of sea turtles, to the local population, and to educational centres in the area.
Justification: There are currently 4 species of sea turtle that frequent the beaches of the lateral pacific of Costa Rica. (Olive Ridley – Lepidochelys olivácea, Black Turtle – Chelonia mydas agassiss, Hawksbill – Eretmochelys imbricatta, and Leatherback – Dermochelys coriacea). All of these species are in danger of extinction due to various human activities – such as the development of coastal areas, unnecessary lighting, the transit of vehicles and people on nesting beaches, the poaching and predation of nests, and the incidental fishing of adult male and female turtles, by fishing fleets, shrimp trawlers, and oceanic long lines.
Specific Location: The Buenavista sea turtle conservation project is located in the northern part of the country, in the district of Nicoya, in Guanacaste province. It is an area of both dry plains and marshland – permanent and seasonal. It is distanced 2.5km from the small town of Samara, 30km from the small city of Nicoya, and just over 200km from the capital city of San Jose.
? Maintenance of infrastructure and surroundings.
? Beach cleaning.
? Night patrols to look for nesting female turtles (in season)
? Transport of food and wáter supply
? Collection of data relevant to nesting activity(in nesting season. Collection and transferal of eggs to the hatchery, tagging and measurements of turtles)
? Monitoring and security of hatchery ( in season)
? Releasing baby turtles into the ocean.(in hatchling season)
? Collection of nest data (in nesting season)
? No alcohol or stimulating substances may be consumed at the project.
? Keep clean all common areas
? Maintain good personal hygiene, behavior and vocabulary
? Please leave all tools and equipment clean and in their correct place..
? Respect hours of night patrols, and respect Project coordinators and other volunteers.
? Obey all safety recommendations and the rules that are established so that the project runs smoothl.
What is the maximum capacity?
Maximum 20 Volunteers. Preference is given to volunteers who are available to stay for longer than 2 weeks.
Is there a gender preference?
What level of Spanish does a volunteer need?
Basic or intermediate. Any other languages is considered an advantage.
Is there an age limit?
Minimum age of 18 years old
Work Schedule: You will work between 6 and 10 hours per day depending on nesting intensity and commitments in the community. The majority of the work will take place at night, and daytime activities will depend on the necessities of the project and the weather.
The accommodation at Buenavista is a rustic wooden structure that consists of a large common area, kitchen and eating area downstairs. There is one large dorm area upstairs with bunk beds for volunteers. There are showers and toilet facilities, running water, and drinking water available. There is no electricity.
Volunteers will receive three meals a day at the project (breakfast, lunch and dinner). Food provided is according to a typical Costa Rican diet, and consists mainly of rice, beans, salads, pastas vegetables and fruits.
Please note that, besides the daily fee that covers accomodation and food, a subscription fee of $60 is requested for enrollment.