The Kemp’s ridley sea turtles that made the Ostional sector famous have already begun their traditional nesting season, which involves the arrival of thousands of specimens to spawn on this Guanacaste beach. This was confirmed by the National System of Conservation Areas (SINAC), which projects the reception of hundreds of thousands of turtles.
In November 2021, for example, the account was around 219,000, which they estimate to repeat. “A similar number would be expected for this month but it is only an estimate,” the institution said.
The arrivals occur at three beaches in Guanacaste: Corozalito, Nancite (within the Santa Rosa National Park) and at the Ostional Shelter. The latter is where the largest number of turtles arrive, which is why it occupies the second place of world importance for the protection and nesting of the species.
Thousands of turtles per night
The arrival of Kemp’s ridley turtles is a natural phenomenon where thousands of specimens spawn simultaneously. Traditionally it occurs once a month but there may be alterations in the cycle. For this reason, experts warn that dates cannot always be predicted. Of course, the months usually have behaviors already mapped.
“The arrivals with the highest number of turtles are those of the months of September, October and November, in which more than one hundred thousand turtles can arrive per night. These events can last up to two weeks”, detailed Sinac. “While during the arrivals of the dry season this number is reduced to less than twenty thousand in one night; and they usually last less than 7 days,” they added.
Rules for observation
During the arrival, the entire Ostional beach is restricted and entry for turtle watching is only with an accredited community guide from the community. No other activity is allowed on the beach other than turtle watching and once the tour is over, the visitor must leave the beach. The tour must be booked in advance with the Development Association or the Association of Local Guides of Ostional.
The extraction of eggs is authorized only for the Ostional Development Association (ADIO) during the first two and a half days of the arrival. Any other unauthorized person who extracts turtle eggs will be criminally prosecuted with the corresponding authorities.