Volunteer opportunity posted by: The Tropical Adventures Foundation
Posted on: February 11, 2013
As a volunteer at the Ostional Sea Turtle Project in Costa Rica, you will be working to protect sea turtles on the beach in the National Wildlife Reserve of Ostional in the Province of Guanacaste.
Ostional is one of the top choices worldwide for those looking to help sea turtles. This beautiful national park is currently short-handed despite being one of only 2 areas in Costa Rica where turtles arrive every day.
About once a month we see something called "arribata," which is when turtles arrive en masse – usually about 3,000 turtles in a matter of 3 nights, but at times as many as 10,000! And, of course, approximately 45 days after the turtles lay their eggs, all the adorable baby turtles hatch and make their way to the water. It's a incredible sight to see!!
The lodging is very comfortable, there is Wireless Internet and even Satellite TV. The staff is friendly, professional and at least two of them speak English.
There is the option of staying with a local family, or in the volunteer house (up to 12 people living together divided between 2 rooms with bunk beds). The price is the same, and the food is really good too (not easy to find at lots of national parks!).
Ostional is very close to the beach towns of Nosara and Samara and will certainly provide a once-in-a- lifetime experience!
Ostional is one of the top choices in the world right now as far as sea turtle projects go. They are currently short-handed despite being one of only 2 areas in Costa Rica where turtles arrive every day.
The National Wildlife Refuge Ostional, is located on the Nicoya Peninsula, in the area of Santa Cruz and Nicoya in the Province of Guanacaste. It was inaugurated November 17, 1983, with the primary objective of protecting the sea turtles nesting on this beach.
The refuge has an area of 791 acres of land and nearly 20,000 acres of marine space, covering a coastline of 200 meters wide including mangroves, and a stretch of 3 miles wide at the marina, including from Punta India to Punta Guiones.
The refuge projects three of the seven nesting sea turtle species that exist in the world. These are: Ridley (Lepidochelys olivacea), Leatherback (Dermochelys coriacea), and Black (Chelonia midas agassizii). The Hawksbill (Eretmochelys imbricata) has been observed near the coast, but we still have no spawning records. All these species are declared endangered.
Only two species of marine turtles display a unique mass nesting behavior. This behavior is known as an Arribada. The significance of this reproductive phenomenon was first observed by the scientific community in 1961. By producing large numbers of offspring most organisms like sea turtles can insure their survival even after predation occurs.
This particular park is fortunate enough to be amongst the top three Arribada sites in the world in terms of size and frequency of arrivals of Ridley turles. This phenomenon occurs once per month throughout the year. The Leatherback and Black turtles nest in small numbers at Ostional between the months of October and March.
Part of the activities being carried out include night patrols to eliminate illegal looting, protecting baby turtles (while hatching births), beach cleanups and general maintenance work on the facilities. We also need help doing research projects. Due to staffing shortages, volunteer support is critical!
All this work requires a great amount of effort and many hours of work, the completion of which would be impossible without volunteers.
The nesting season varies depending on time of year. July to December is the peak season in which the number of turtles by Arribata average about 200,000 within 6 to 8 days. Conversely, January to June is the low season in which turtles number 10,000 to 15,000 within 3 to 4 day periods, but this â€œlowâ€ season is when we have the opportunity to observe the largest Leatherback and Green turtles in the world. They can reach 2 meters in length!
The Refuge is conducting research projects with populations sea â€‹â€‹turtles, it is recommended that the minimum number of days in the ASP than two weeks.
The work schedule is variable in the park and includes daytime working hours as well as and nightime. Every workday is between 4 and 8 hours, depending on current workloads. These vary considerably in time and can extended to 8 hours – sometimes longer.
Volunteers receive one day off per week to perform other personal activities, such as surfing, which is done right in the area (Playa Ostional and Playa Guiones, which are also part of park and have waves suitable for this sport). Also nearby to Ostional (Nosara) youâ€™ll find the opportunity to take part in canopy (zip-line) tours, exploration of rivers and estuaries for those who like bird watching and kayaking.
We ask volunteers to give us a minimum of two weeks of their time. This is because of the training involved. Volunteering much less than two weeks means youâ€™ll barely finish your training before departing the project.
The volunteer must comply with the rules established in the Refuge during their stay:
The park has water, electricity, satellite TV and wireless Internet (if volunteer brings their own computer) as well as lodging facilities (2 rooms with 3 bunk beds to each room). There is also an option to stay with a local family.
Basic equipment that a volunteer must bring:
The facility will provide the rest of the equipment (gloves, bags, bins, field notebooks, etc).
To view our pictures from Ostional Sea Turtle project
At the web site of our company: www.tropicaladventures.com
Or contact us: email@example.com or: +506 2575-0410