Over One Million Sea Turtles Arrived at Ostional, Guanacaste This Weekend

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The first massive “arribada” (arrival) of olive ridley sea turtles (Lepidochelys olivacea) of the season started this past weekend and will extend through September 4th.According to the Ostional Development Association the number of sea turtles that arrived during this past weekend exceeded one million.

The months of September, October and November are the months when higher number of sea turtles arrive, however they only last between 2 and 4 days; each sea turtle lays between 80 to 120 eggs which, given the proper conditions, will hatch in a 45-day period, only 1% of the eggs survive predators.

Ostional National Wildlife Refuge informed that the area has been experiencing bad weather conditions with heavy rains, thunder storms and overflowed rivers and therefore urge visitors to take precautions; those that want to witness the next arribadas must be aware that access to the wildlife refuge is only allowed with an authorized tour guide.

Members of the Asociación de Desarrollo Integral de Ostional (Ostional Development Association) have a special government permit since 1987 that allows them to extract a 6% of the total of eggs to sell for human consumption; members of the Association depend of the income generated from the sale of the eggs, and therefore they also help protect the turtles and the eggs from illegal poachers.

The only entity legally authorized to extract and commercialize the Olive Ridley turtles’ eggs is the Asociación de Desarrollo Integral de Ostional (ADIO), the Association uses sealed plastic bags labeled with ADIO logos. ADIO must also provide invoices with the information and signatures of the Association and the Fishing Institute (INCOPESCA).

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