Sea turtle nest search like CSI scene
The first task as we set off on our nighttime search for sea turtle eggs is to give our eyes a few moments to adjust to darkness.
No flashlights here except for one sparingly used infrared light.
Raul, our guide, has for five years been a vol nike air max unteer helping biologists on Playa Hermosa in Costa Rica protect sea turtle eggs. It a bid to increase their odds of surviving until they old enough to mate a one in 1,000 long shot.
Th nike air max e six of us walk the beach looking for tracks of turtles coming out of the water to lay the eggs essentially looking into blackness for something blacker. Eventually we find two sets of tracks.
One set indicates the turtle has come and gone. Raul zeroes in on the exact location of the buried nest, likening the search to a CSI scene. He puts on latex gloves, digs into the cavity and starts retrieving eggs the size of ping pong balls.
I also don a glove for my job of counting them as I put them in a plastic bag. I nervous because the shells are soft and I don want to squish them.
I count 97.
We move to another spot where the tracks are only going inland. An olive Ridley turtle is just starting to dig the nest, shifting her body back and forth and flicking sand with her back limbs.
Raul excavates out the back of the cavity she dug so we can watch what happening by infrared. Eggs start dropping in a messy, mucus covered miracle. Raul scoops them up and Anne, another member of our group, counts and bags them 91 in all.
We take the two bags back to the at the biologists camp. A stringed grid marks pl nike air max aces in the sand where the eggs can be reburied and guarded from predators and poachers during their 45 day incubation. Raul digs holes in two unused squares and Anne and I place the eggs one by one.
Raul notices an olive Ridley hatchling stranded in an empty hole. Its flippers are flailing, apparently eager to get to the water.
The six of us take it to the beach like a bunch of proud parents ready to see the little one there no way at this stage to tell whether it male nike air max or female off on its next stage of life.
It placed 10 metres from the water, giving it time to somehow memorize this beach because, if it female, this is where it will return to nest years from now.