Green Lizard's Blog

The planet is our home; we need to be more responsible. Here's what I do.

Costa Rica Conservation: beyond turtles

It’s world wide Wednesday. I want to make this a day for global foci. Or at least a broader view.

If you’ve read my blog over the last few weeks you may have realised I’m a turtle nut. Here’s some of the posts that gave me away.


turtley mind blowing </

in the middle of the night

turtle rescue

The los Baulas National Marine Park (set up in 1991) is beneficial to many other creatures. This beautiful stretch of golden sand including Playa Granda, Carbon and Ventanas beaches is only part of the story.

These beach stretches are protected to give nesting turtles of three species safe harbour. The leatherback, olive Ridley and black turtle species nest here between November and February.

The beaches are closed at night and the volunteers walking the beach also work with the local people and tourists to spread information.

During the day the beaches seem normal. There are sunbathers and surfers doing their thing while the pelicans dive from a height, searching for food.

But at night it’s a different story. The great leatherback, Olive Ridley and black turtle make their way ashore.

Meanwhile there are populations of other 174 species of birds and many other animals in the Marine National park who benefit from the conservation initiatives.

There are numerous wild birds in the estuary and a howler monkey population. The American crocodiles basking on the sands nearby are relaxed in the heat of the sun. That’s as close as we were going to get!


In 2012 a previously undocumented species of beach snail was identified on the beach too.

Hermit crabs participate in migratory behaviour on the beaches at night in strange large numbers.

Nearby there are three key crab species on the beach. The hermit crab, ghost crab and the colourful harlequin or Halloween crab from its purple and orange colouring. Some of them prey on the turtle hatchlings as they head into the surf.

The pelicans diving in formation into the surf compete with vultures and other birds of prey for domination of the air space.

Raccoons and other small creatures roam in the undergrowth. Check out this blue orchid bee!


This bug spent a whole day on our washing!


The marine park was established in 1991. Since then the initiatives to protect the animals while creating sustainable tourism have developed in keeping with Costa Rican efforts as a environmentalb country.

We took a boat tour of the mangroves where a local guide, whose only previous option would have been to exploit the local habitat, now shares his knowledge instead.

It all helps to make los Baulas a unique place to visit.


<a href="http://“>here’s a short film of the monkeys


7 comments on “Costa Rica Conservation: beyond turtles

  1. The Crazy Crone
    March 5, 2014

    Here in North Cyprus there are two beaches where endangered turtles come ashore to lay their eggs – at Guzelyali Beach close to where I live west of Kyrenia, the historic port on the north coast, and at Alagardi Beach to the east of Kyrenia. There are teams of volunteers dedicated to ensuring the safety of the turtles, their nests and eggs, and to protect the baby turtles when they hatch.


    • lizard100
      March 5, 2014

      Some of the people we worked with have done turtle projects in Europe too. Sounds like another reason to visit Cyprus!


  2. annetbell
    March 5, 2014

    We saw the turtles in Hawaii just swim up onto the beaches and catch some rays of the sun for a while. In fact, we stayed at an resort called Turtle Bay. Add i to your bucket list!


    • lizard100
      March 5, 2014

      Sounds fantastic! Hawaii eh?


      • annetbell
        March 5, 2014

        Yup, North Shore of Oahu , close to the great surfing beach, Sunset Beach!


  3. Rambling Woods
    March 9, 2014

    I have a birding friend who visits Costa Rica a lot to see wildlife… I also like turtles. Here on the pond we have snapping turtles and eastern painted. Once in a while we find a baby snapper on its way to the pond via our yard and they are a lot cuter as babies than when we are adults..I would love to visit here…thanks for bringing awareness..Michelle


    • lizard100
      March 9, 2014

      Costa Rica was amazing but they also have sea turtle conservation in Florida and other places close to home.


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