Available on All November 2019 and Winter 2020 Departures*
An extraordinary experience with the iconic sea turtles of the Pacific awaits you as we visit Latin American Sea Turtles (LAST) Association at Playa Blanca on the Osa Peninsula. Take part by assisting researchers with data collection, hear presentations by the staff at LAST including a talk by the head biologist who has dedicated her life to the conservation of these animals. At the end of our visit, we will be invited to assist and observe as rehabilitated, healthy turtles are released back into the Pacific--a truly poignant moment.
Frequently consulted on marine conservation by governments of several countries, LAST has developed extensive projects on both Costa Rican coasts and continues to be supported by numerous international conservation organizations including The Nature Conservancy, WWF, and Conservation International.
LAST takes a holistic and comprehensive approach to sea turtle conservation by--among other numerous projects--gathering important population and life history data, conducting coral reef research, and implementing studies on how to enhance and improve mangrove habitats and the sea grass beds where the turtles feed. Along the way, the organization takes in injured animals, many having been entangled in fishing gear. These marine reptiles are nursed back to health and eventually returned to their native habitat in the vast Pacific.
Of the world’s seven species of sea turtles, Costa Rica hosts four that are found on the Pacific and Caribbean coasts at various times of year: olive ridley, leatherback, green, and hawksbill sea turtles. While several of these species may be encountered, LAST’s research and rehabilitation work primarily centers around the hawksbill turtle. Some individuals of this species weigh up to 200 pounds.
These amazing animals spend months, even years, or for some males, their entire lives feeding in the open ocean, sometimes thousands of kilometers from shore. But each individual begins life on land, and sea turtle females must return to the shore to dig nests and lay eggs.
All species of sea turtle are considered endangered or threatened, and all are highly susceptible to human and environmental threats. All are in urgent need of global protection.
*Available exclusively on all departures of Costa Rica & the Panama Canal.
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