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Stop Tourists and Poachers from Interrupting Sea Turtles from Nesting in Costa Rica

This petition had 56,094 supporters


Costa Rica’s iconic treasures of the sea are in danger. Sea turtles and their eggs have been victims of poachers continuously over the years. Not only has poachers been an issue, but conservationists have also become targets. On May 30th 2013, a 26-year-old conservationist named Jairo Mora Sandoval was kidnapped and murdered by sea turtle poachers. However, after demonstrations and supportive publicity for the justice of the innocent man, charges were filed against the criminals.

Recently on September 18th, 2015, The New York Times reported another incident at Ostional National Wildlife Refuge’s Beach, where ignorant tourists interrupted the spawning of endangered Olive Ridley turtles. El Niño’s weather had changed Costa Rica’s rainy season weather to a dryer one. Therefore, the beach that is usually flooded was easily accessible, allowing tourists to take selfies with the turtles, and even let their children to sit on their shells.

This is not acceptable! Tourists should act responsibly in wildlife refuge areas, especially when turtle species are bringing life into the world. Only visitors with tour guides are allowed on the beach, but easy access for the mass numbers in addition to the low staff in rangers and guards have been unable to keep others from trespassing. Please support me in asking the President of Costa Rica, Luis Guillermo Solís in allowing increased funding for staffing to be given to SINAC. Sistema Nacional de Áreas de Conservacián or National System of Areas of Conservation, is an agency of the Ministry of Environment, Energy and Telecommunications (MINAET), set up by Article 22 of Law No. 7788 Biodiversity in 1998. SINAC operates a total of 11 conservation areas.

Ironically, the Ostional National Wildlife Refuge was established in order to protect the nesting of Olive Ridley turtles, however many conservation areas such as Ostional in Costa Rica do not have moderate staff members to protect the turtles from poachers and tourists. During the rainy season (July-December), 200,000 turtles arrive to spawn on the shores usually once a month for 5 to 6 consecutive nights. Ostional is the main nesting site in the world due to the frequency of arrivals as well as diversity in turtle species. Many other species arrive to lay their eggs: the Leatherback Turtle, which is the largest in the world, the Green Turtle, which nests between September and February, and the Hawksbill Turtle, which only nests occasionally in this refuge.

Please sign this petition and be the voice for the turtles! Increased funding for staffing and surveillance will make a positive impact on the conservation of wildlife in Costa Rica, and will also offer protection to the future generations of sea turtles that are hatched at Ostional National Wildlife Refuge.

Say no to poachers and tourists causing disruption to the refuge areas!

 

Thank you.



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