Monday, September 19, 2016

Playa la Flor, searching for sea turtles

We went to Playa la Flor, in the late evening on a full moon night, in hopes of increasing our chances of seeing nesting turtles or seeing baby turtles digging their way out of their sandy nests. We strolled along the beach awash in the silver tones of moon light. We whispered to each other while on the sand, and witnessed just how different our modern world was to the peaceful serenity of the wild.  Lack of city lights or any other modern obstructions is probably the best aspect of this preserve.
   This place has changed little over the years and the campers love it that way. Imagine being in one of the most important Olive Ridley turtle nesting areas in the world and still being allowed to camp on the beach. Being able to experience sea turtles nesting, in unspoiled beauty, is a big reason why this beach reserve is so admired by its visitors.
   For us, we enjoyed being noise free, electricity free, and human encroachment free.  Hearing the bugs, night birds, and the crashing waves was sound enough for us. On the night that we were on the beach, no more than ten people were there and each of us were quiet observers, hoping to witness a natural wonder unfold.
   After a couple hours and many many mosquito bites later we realized that the arribada (a massive gathering of sea turtles) was not to be. We did, though, see some turtle nests and evidence some of the nest are being attacked by predators like raccoons and dogs. In fact, for the exposed nests that we encountered we reburied the eggs to give them a second chance. Nicaragua estimates that nearly 100 million turtle eggs were laid last year in this area, so chances are high for the continued success of the Olive Ridley turtle nesting program. If you ever get a chance to see Nicaragua, I recommend this area for sure.  
Park officials dig up some of the turtle eggs to hatch them separately in sacks containing sand. Incubating these eggs increases the turtle's chances for successful release into the wild.

Some of the broken egg shells along the beach.

Zoe was holding a recently damaged egg still containing yolk.

A look inside of one of the opened nests of turtle eggs.

The culprit, a canine paw print in the sand near the opened turtle nest.

No comments:

Post a Comment