December 11, 2010

The First ISV Group AND The First Leatherback Nest of the Season

On Wednesday our first ISV group arrived safe and sound in Ostional, after they were picked-up by Andrey and my person in Heredia.
The travel to Ostional was un-eventful, and over the past days everybody (staff and volunteers alike) was engaged in training sessions, discussions, and presentations.

Our Patrol-Training-Sand-Turtle
Thursday night was the first official patrol for our ISV students, and at 9 pm finally a Leatherback female decided that Ostional beach suits her just right, and layed her eggs, and almost everybody was able to see her. She was a BEAUTY!!! 1,50 meter in carapace length, and tagged in a previous season in Ostional. The nest was transported to the hatchery (96 eggs and 30 SAGs) were the eggs got reburied and the nest got equipped with a temperature data logger.
Technically it was NOT the first Leatherback of the season, because two weeks ago, we had an un-marked female making a nesting attempt, but the sand was to compact, and she left after two hours without having laid any eggs.

And then the house was rocking......The next leatherback poked her nose out of the water two nights ago, and it seems it was the same unmarked female that Cody and I had a while ago. She only layed 10 eggs, and I barely had enough time to get the two PIT tags in,  but everything worked out. The same night we had a black turtle in the early morning hours, and our volunteers were stoked, and were taking one picture after another.
Cody with his patrol, Frances and Kritteka, and their black turtle in Nosara beach (Foto: F. Burns)
We also organised a rescue mission to get the Olive Ridley females -that have been stuck in the closed estuary since the arribada (a week ago)- out to the ocean.
Jessica, Essie, and Andy about to release Ridley female into freedom (Foto: F. Burns)

Amanda, Andy, and Essie catching female in estuary (Foto: F. Burns)

Ashley and Julia carrying female out of estuary.

Ostional local carrying female back to ocean (Foto: F. Burns)

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