Tortuguero is considered to be the most important nesting site in the Western half of the Caribbean for the green turtles (Chelonia mydas), other species of sea turtles also nest along the park's beach every year, such as the leatherback and the hawksbill turtles.
For the Tortuguero National Park, located in the North Caribbean coast of Costa Rica, the protection of those sea turtles species is of great importance.
The green turtles is a medium-size turtles that can weigh up to 200 kg. and has long fins that reach one meter in length.
The nesting of the green turtles is one of the most interesting phenomena of Nature. This process (starting with the copulation) is considered the most critical stage in the turtles life cycle because the females have to come to the beach in large groups and at regular time periods. This, as well as the difficulty the turtles have in moving through the sand, make them very vulnerable to man and other predators.
The process begins with the migration of the turtles to areas where there is not enough food. The copulation of the turtlesbegins there, at a short distance from the shore. Then, after a short time, the female comes out from the sea to look for a place to dig a nest for her eggs. This process generally takes place at night.
When the female reaches the beach, she drags herself to the highest point until she finds a convenient place to dig the nest which she does using her flat flippers as a shovel. At this time, if the animal is disturbed or if she thinks she is in danger, she will return to the sea without spawning the eggs and the nest will be lost.
The nest is ready when it's about fifty centimeters deep and when it's ready, the female will start to lay the eggs
(approximately 100). When her task is complete, she covers the hole again using almost her entire body in an attempt to camouflage the nest, throwing sand in all directions, and then she begins her weary journey back to the sea.
In a period of two months, the eggs are incubated by the
sun. The baby turtles break out of their shells, and begin to find an
opening for themselves up to the top of the hole. They wait for the air
to be cool before they come out.
The sea turtles are in danger of extinction.