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Flipper Nippers: Turtle Nesting Project

Take action in Costa Rica to protect critically endangered turtles which nest along the tropical beaches in this hands-on experience.

  • Learn about natural challenges and human activities which pose a threat to turtle population numbers.
  • Participate in nightly beach patrols to search for new turtle nesting sites and deter poachers.
  • Assist with running and development of the sea turtle hatchery and understand hatchling release methods.
  • Learn how to identify different turtle species by looking at differences in shell and anatomy.

Every year the lush tropical beaches which line the Osa Peninsula in western Costa Rica host the nesting grounds of several different endangered turtle species. 

This project works to protect the critically endangered Hawksbill and Leatherback turtles and the endangered Green and Olive Ridley turtles. These turtles and their eggs are threatened by poachers, stray dogs and extreme weather all of which can destroy nests and cause harm to the vulnerable female turtles as they lay their eggs.

The turtle conservation project tasks are hugely varied and many activities will depend on the time of year. During the nesting season, groups will get involved with beach patrols. When nests are discovered groups assist with data collection and nest relocation if necessary. Other activities involve construction and maintenance of the facilities, working on community outreach and education to raise awareness of the issues facing turtles, and assisting with the release of hatchlings.

5+ days
Project focus
Conservation, Research
Fitness level
When to go
Jun to Dec
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