This July 14th at 8 a.m., hundreds of people will gather along Tortuguero’s dark, sandy beach to send off Costa Rica’s green turtle competitor in the 5th annual Tour de Turtles Migration Marathon. On July 14-15, Sea Turtle Conservancy staff will attach a satellite-transmitter on a green sea turtle as a part of mock sea turtle marathon that tracks migratory movements online.
Named ‘Shelldon’ by her sponsor, Holbrook Travel, Costa Rica’s green turtle will be competing against 14 other sea turtles for three months, as the turtles leave their respective nesting beaches and race to complete a “turtle marathon.” The turtle that swims the furthest distance during the migration marathon will be the named the winner. To follow Shelldon’s migration, visit www.tourdeturtles.org.
In addition to the main goal of traveling the further distance, each of the turtles is participating in a secondary competition, the “Causes Challenge,” to raise awareness about threats to sea turtles. With as few as one out of 1,000 hatchlings surviving to adulthood, conservation efforts must focus on combating human-caused threats through education and research. A female green turtle, Shelldon, will raise awareness about the harvesting of adult turtles for human consumption.
For more than 50 years, Sea Turtle Conservancy, formerly Caribbean Conservation Corporation, has conducted sea turtle research and monitoring in Tortuguero, Costa Rica. Working closely with the government of Costa Rican, Sea Turtle Conservancy helped establish Tortuguero National Park in 1970, a move that offered protection to sea turtles and encouraged the development of eco-tourism to replace the harvesting of sea turtles.
To visit the event:
Nature Air offers daily flights to Tortuguero departing San Jose at 6:00 a.m.