Entries in #turtles (11)

Thursday
Mar022017

It's All Happening In Costa  Rica

After these though days things took a turn for the better. I had an exciting visa run to Boquete (Panama) and after that the weather started to change. And who doesn´t wake up happy with a constant sunshine?!

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Tuesday
Feb282017

Costa Rica Volunteer of the Week - Chris  Willerton!

My first week in Costa Rica has been interesting to say the least!  There has been so much to take in; the scenery, the wildlife surveys, and adapting to life in the jungle.

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Monday
Jan162017

My First Time Seeing A Sea Turtle And Her Nest!

I’ve never seen a turtle close up before, only swimming in the sea from afar or unfortunately, in zoos. However on my very first turtle patrol with Frontier I saw a gorgeous adult female laying a batch of perfect little eggs!

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Friday
Dec232016

An Interview With: Assistant research Officer, Rebecca

Read this interview with Assistant Research Officer Rebecca to find out what life is like working in Costa Rica and why she chose to go there:

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Monday
Sep052016

Jungle Life At New Camp

After last weeks move to the new camp deeper in the jungle, I expected this week to be bitten hideously by anything from a thousand mosquitos to a rogue howler monkey. However, we all seemed to have settled in nicely. Discussions of pathways to be built and the possibility of 'jungle jenga' keep us busy during the long hot days.

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Tuesday
Aug302016

The Last Week On Camp 

"Nothing feels greater than diving between waves and munching on fresh papaya and bananas under the hot sun. We felt incredibly lucky that on our journey in the sea, we saw a beautiful whale with her baby, sliding in and out of the blue waters..."

Media & Journalism Intern Cecilia reflects on the last week on the Costa Rican camp

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Tuesday
Aug162016

First Week in Costa Rica

Having been to Costa Rica before, the mixture of anxiety and excitement I felt while boarding the (tiny) plane to Puerto Jimenez was strange. I knew what to expect –a hot, humid climate, wonderfully friendly locals, cold showers (to combat the humidity) –yet this time was different.

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Thursday
May052016

My Six Months in Carate

Volunteer Nie Williams spent 6 months in the Costa Rican jungle - shes talks us through everything she did, including seeing an Ocelot!

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Thursday
Mar172016

What To Expect In Costa Rica

Having done the Central America trail before hand, I was a little in the dark as to what Frontier Costa Rica's work was all about. I thought therefore that this would be a good chance to explain things for anyone else in my position!

Despite its size, the OSA peninsula is one of the most biodiverse regions on the planet, home to a whopping 4% of the worlds species. Most of these are endangered, and to make matters worse, endemic to the area - they cannot live anywhere else. Furthermore, many of these species are data deficient (one bird species hasn't had a paper published on it since 1954!).


Frontier's purpose in this area is to collect data that could potentially help protect these species and the local ecosystem. We study a huge variety of animals, grouped into birds, mammals, primates, turtles, reptiles and amphibians. It's a lot to keep track of but you learn quickly! We go out on surveys every morning very early (and sometimes night surveys which are incredible), so be ready to be hiking at 5 am! Each survey will go through a part of the jungle or beach in order to keep track of what animals can be seen or heard on that trail, helping Frontier understand the numbers and distribution of the target species.


Bird surveys for example, will be organised into three stop points, where volunteers will put their newly acquired bird calls knowledge to use, and attempt to identify the fifty bird species Frontier studies. I've had problems learning the bird calls (some sound so similar!) but there are some funny ways to remember them, one in particular we call the party bird since it sounds like a dubstep, while the macaw is quickly committed to memory  (screeching nails). Primate trails are slightly different, as you walk slowly through the jungle while staring into the trees and trying not to trip over a rogue root. They are equally fun however, and while I've never had this happen to me I've heard stories from other volunteers that they will throw poo if they feel aggressed!

My favourite trails however are the turtle ones, mostly because I saw a pacific green laying eggs up close, then accompanied her to the sea, which was incredible. A normal turtle survey will involve hiking the beaches in search of turtle tracks or nests, and seeing which nests have been predated (eaten by predators). Turtles don't like laying eggs with lots of light or disturbances, and they will always pick the same beaches, which is part of why they are becoming endangered. Many of their beaches are becoming tourist traps, and the light pollution and increased activity is scaring them away, not to mention poachers taking the eggs once their nests have been laid. Something I thought was really interesting, is that around only one in a thousand turtle eggs will survive; there are so many problems, from predators, to making it to the sea, that very few make it.


The OSA peninsula is one of two areas in Costa Rica that are protected reserves, where the wildlife can thrive - the other is situated around the other side of the mainland. The problem is that for many species, this stretch of land isn't enough. For example, a healthy jaguar population needs 1500 km2 to survive, whereas at the moment, they only have 500 km2 in the OSA peninsula. No one on camp has ever seen a jaguar, due in part to their dwindling numbers (and the fact that they don't like to be seen!). Another problem the wildlife here faces is codependency - ie a particular bird species spreads the seeds of a certain tree, and some primates need that tree to survive. If we lose the bird, the whole cycle is then potentially lost. Frontier's overarching aim would be to gather enough data on such difficulties, and present them to the government via an organisation called Minae, ideally linking the two reserves and creating enough land for these endangered species to thrive.

So there you have it, an abbreviated summary of what on earth Frontier are doing in Costa Rica! I hope it helps (and makes you want to come help out - seriously, the wildlife and location are stunning!).

By Meriel Clementson - Central American Ethical Trail Volunteer

Find out more about Costa Rica Big Cats, Primates & Turtles Conservation.

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Monday
Dec072015

My First Hatchling Experience 

It started like any other typical day here on camp in Costa Rica. Everyone went out for there morning surveys. I was on turtle patrol for La Leona beach. We woke up at 4 am to patrol the beach before high tide hit. It was still pitch black out, so everyone had their headlamps on, and as we entered onto the beach, we all turned on our red lights, as this is the only colour turtles can’t see very well.

We commenced what would be a very exciting and rewarding walk. We walked along Carate beach first, but only found a few tracks, and some predated nests. The sun rose behind us and gave a spectacular sunrise. After crossing the river, which marked the divide between Carate and La Leona beach, we started our survey, looking for predated nests and turtles, that would be documented.

Photo Credit - Eleanor FlattAbout half way down the beach we happened upon a predated nest, there were some vultures and racoons at the nest site. We scared them away and went over to the nest. It was clear that there were turtle hatchlings present, and we were all excited to rescue them. We found 5 in total, and set them down on the beach half way to the ocean. All of us followed them and protected them from any predators until they reached the ocean. We happily waved them off and watched them swim away after taking millions of photos! This marked my first and most favourite wildlife sighting!

By Carly Seminar - Wildlife Conservation Volunteer

Find out more about Costa Rica Big Cats, Primates & Turtles Conservation.

Check out what volunteer in Costa Rica are up to right now!