Costa Rica struggles with nuisance tourists on turtle beach

As another weekend approaches, the Costa Rican Environment Ministry is reevaluating how to control tourism on Costa Rican beaches during sea turtle nesting season.

A sea turtle returning to the sea on Ostional Beach.

A sea turtle returning to the sea on Ostional Beach. Image by Brandon Schabes / CC BY 2.0

Last weekend, an unprecedented number of tourists populated the beach at Ostional Wildlife refuge, preventing a number of olive ridley sea turtles from nesting along the shoreline during their arrival, known as an arribada. Ostional is one of the top four most important nesting sites in the world for this species of sea turtle. Many turtles returned to the sea without laying their eggs, as some tourists touched the turtles and stood on top of existing nests, and other placed their children on top of the turtles to take photos. The refuge is normally guarded by only two park rangers, and even with the help of three National Police officers last week, they were unable to control the situation. Read more:

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