A lot of the work at Playa Grande focuses on the leatherback sea turtles and their nesting habits. Leatherbacks come ashore at night and dig deep nests in the sand with their flippers. They lay eggs and then cover the eggs back up with sand. After that, the mommy turtles go back into the ocean, leaving the eggs to develop and hatch on their own.
One of the jobs of researchers is to dig up old nests because a lot can be learned from them. Researchers count how many eggs and eggshells are in the nest. From that, they can figure out how many hatched and what happened to the eggs that did not hatch. Some eggs die shortly after they are laid, and some die shortly before the hatchlings come out. No one knows why yet.
Gabi is one of the researchers, and she explained to us all about the nests.
I had to supervise the digging, but it seemed like they were doing it right.
Then something very exciting happened! We found a hatchling!
Can you see the head?
We saved a baby leatherback sea turtle!!!!