Sea Turtle Ecology in Costa Rica! (US)
The Leatherback is the largest of all sea turtles and a threatened species. We will be working with Ecology Projects International at the Pacuare Reserve in Costa Rica to join researchers conducting night-time censuses of nesting turtles and collecting key biometric data on this threatened species. If nests are found in unsuitable locales, we will help relocate the nests to ensure the safety and success of the hatchlings. Pacuare Reserve is a scientifically managed wildlife reserve on Costa Rica’s Caribbean Coast. Home to the most important leatherback nesting beach in Costa Rica, the reserve hosts a range of scientists studying sea turtles and other rare wildlife such as the jaguar and agami heron. Fundamental to its model of community-based conservation is the belief that students and teachers must be involved in the scientific study and preservation of wild habitat. On this trip, we will learn about sea turtle biology, explore the rainforest and wildlife, Collect nesting turltle data during night censuses, restore turtle nesting habitats, learn to identify local bird species, take a night hike to observe nocturnal species of the tropical rainforest, raft through rainforest rapids OR zip line through the rainforest canopy (pending weather) and possibly meet with local students to learn about each other’s cultures and practice Spanish.