Osa Peninsula, Costa Rica

Costa Rica's Osa Peninsula is a wildlife paradise. Called "the most biologically intense place on earth" by National Geographic, this remote area is home to thousands of species of plants and animals including jaguars, scarlet macaws, monkeys, and three species of sea turtles. Roughly 2/3rds of the peninsula is under some form of protection, including Corcovado National Park which is considered by many to be the crown jewel of the national parks of Costa Rica.

Four species of sea turtles nest on the peninsula: olive ridleys, green turtles, hawksbill turtles, and leatherbacks. Olive ridleys are the most common turtle found on nesting beaches on the Osa, accounting for the heavy majority of nests. A small population of hawksbills live in the Golfo Dulce, between the Osa and the mainland.

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Latin American Sea Turtles (LAST)

In 2010, LAST initiated a new research program to study critically endangered hawksbill turtles in the Golfo Dulce, as well as black turtles, a sub-species of green turtles. Researchers catch the turtles in the Gulf and bring them back to the research station to collect data and release. SEE Turtles supports LAST through volunteer recruiting, organizing tour groups to participate in the research, and providing donations through Billion Baby Turtles.

Photos credits: Hal Brindley