Green Sea Turtle Tagging at Cocos
A tagging expedition recently got underway at Cocos Island involving its green sea turtle and hawksbill visitors.
Conservationists and researchers travel Costa Rica open waters for 30 hours or more in their quest for knowledge about these ancient marine animals. Think of what they do as a kind of working Costa Rica vacation that, hopefully, will contribute to saving marvelous animals now sadly endangered in much of their range.
Cocos Island, once described by Jacque Cousteau as the most beautiful island he'd ever seen, lies some 340 miles off the Pacific shore of Costa Rica, nearly halfway to the Galapagos Islands.
It's the largest uninhabited island in the Pacific (except for a few resident rangers) but it wasn't the pretty beaches or palms that enthralled the Captain.
The beauty lies off its shores, under water, in a place that Costa Ricans have voted one of
Costa Rica's Seven Wonders, click
Treasure Island or Jurassic Park?
Cocos Island has fired the imagination of novelists, seafarers, and pirates for more than 300 years and today is probably the most famous island in the world.
Everybody knows about it, from Bangladore to Alaska, the Steppes of Russia to Antarctica.
You don't know? You've never heard of it?
Well, perhaps you know it by its other name: Jurassic Park.
That's what Michael Crichton called it.
Or maybe you think it is called Treasure Island.
Some folks think Cocos served as inspiration for that Robert Lewis Stevenson tale.
But, tall tales aside, this little island was a popular Costa Rica vacation spot for real pirates.
Well off the sailing lanes of the English pirate hunting fleets, it offered safe sanctuary and an abundance of coconuts, a favorite ingredient in pirate brew.
It also proved to be a great place to bury treasure and, indeed, even to this day, two great treasures, the Lima Treasure and Devonshire Treasure, may still be hidden there.
And, as our gift to you for reading this page, we have a real buried treasure pirate map, just click here for the Treasure of Lima.
The Most Valuable Treasure Lies Under the Water
Cocos Island is considered by many divers to be the finest place on the planet for large marine animal viewing. There is an incredible array of fish and marine mammals, from tuna to sharks and everything in between, not to mention porpoises and whales, in its fertile waters.
And sea turtles.
They've been on the planet since the days of dinosaurs (actually, they were here for millions of generations before the very first dinosaur). Imagine Tyrannosaurus Rex feeding on them when they came ashore to lay their eggs.
These creatures roam all the oceans of the world except the Arctic and Antarctic (though the magnificent leatherback can venture as far north as Wales and Canada).
Once, the populations of green sea turtle, hawksbill, leatherback and others were so plentiful that mariners, lost in the fog, found land by listening to sea turtles paddling towards their nesting grounds.
Alas, no more. Today, the great migrations of green sea turtle and their relatives put them at risk.
Costa Rica has taken the lead in trying to save these ancient creatures by creating the largest green sea turtle nesting preserve on the planet. It is called Tortuguero National Park, click.
PRETOMA and Sea Turtle Tagging
PRETOMA is an internationally known Costa Rica Public Interest conservation program that is tagging pelagic turtles like the green sea turtle.
Some are given flipper tags and others satellite transmitters to help track their movements.
Marine sea turtles are endangered across the planet today.
But they are not the only endangered marine species. Within U.S. jurisdiction alone, there are 68
endangered marine species, click.
Help Save Sea Turtles Petition
Though Costa Rica has often taken the lead in preserving marine turtles, economic interests sometime get in the way. That is happening right now.
Development vs. Preservation.
But, you can help. Lend your voice and ask others to do so via Facebook, MySpace, however. But, time is short.
Save the Sea Turtle Petition