The sea turtles have arrived at the coasts of Bocas del Toro, centuries before the human been.
In spite of to be hunted for many years, the tourism can contribute directly to their salvation, because it has been demonstrated that, by means of the observation at the moment of nesting, it is possible to receive incomes superior to which would be obtained by means of the sale of their meat or its eggs.
At least four species of sea turtles arrive at beaches of the islands to nest: the hawksbill, the logerhead, the leatherback and the green. This last one makes an important migration during the months of July and August that
happens along the coast of the Archipelago to go to nest to the beaches of Tortuguero, Costa Rica, although some of them also do it in Bocas.
The observation of the nesting, during the night, requires diverse well-taken care of and for that reason the use of specialized guides.
One of the biggest enemy, not only for the turtles nesting but also for the small young when being born, are the lights. Becasue of that is strictly prohibited the use of lights when observe Sea Turtles nesting.
The lights, when the turtles come to nest, can do them come back to the sea. Nevertheless, when they have already nested, the existence of lights from houses, cars or people, attract them and often they take them towards the opposed side to which
they must go: the sea, being a mortal trap. The same happens to the newborn.
The ideal places for observation of Sea Turtles nesting in the Archipelago are Bluff and Long beaches, together with the beaches of Zapatillas Cays, at the Marine Park, where although there is no usual visitación of tourists is possible to collaborate in the protection of the nests.
To watch the nesting of sea turtles at Bluff Beach, look at the ANABOCA organization site.
In the mainland there are two more beaches with activity: San San and Soropta, where conservation organizations (AAMVECONA) work for the protection of the nests including in their staff voluntaries coming for all over the world.
(Text and pictures: Angel González Díaz-Fundación Promar)