founder: alvarojm
date created: 9/14/2009
no. of members: 3
description/mission statement:
The Ostional National Wildlife Refuge is located in the counties of Santa Cruz and Nicoya in the province of Guanacaste. It is bounded on the North by Punta India 222550 N - 34750 E (Hoja Cerro Brujo 3046- II), the South by Punta Guiones Nosara 210400 N - 353150 E (Hoja Garza 3045-I) and extending three miles out to sea. The refuge comprises an area of 300 Ha on land and 800 Ha of ocean.The Ostional National Wildlife Refuge was officially created in 1984 but was declared a protected area in 1982. The refuge was initially construed as being 200m wide from Punta India to the mouth of Rio Nosara. This area was increased to include the 200m strip to Punta Guiones in 1985. Finally, in 1992, with the institution of the new "Wildlife Law", came the final definition of the refuge and in 1993 the amplification to the three mile maritime limit as it is today. The best time to visit Ostional is just before and during an ARRIBADA. These occur, as a general rule, at the start of the LAST Quarter MOON. The best months to see the biggest ARRIBADAS are between July and December. After an undetermined waiting time, close to the last quarter of the moon cycle, the "arribada" will begin. At first, a few hundred turtles will come out on the beach, followed by a steady stream of animals for the next three to seven days. So many turtles come onto the beach in a short time span that most of the first nests are destroyed by later turtles. Therefore, in 1987, a project was initiated to allow local people the right to collect and sell a percentage of the eggs from the first three days of each arribada. This is the only place in the world where it is legal to harvest turtle eggs. This practice is designed prevent poaching and to help the local community. "Arribadas" occur all through the year, at least once a month and, in some months, may occur twice. The months between June and December, during the rainy season, see larger "arribadas". That means that the number of nesting turtles may be in the range of hundreds of thousands as opposed to tens of thousands for the dry season months.The largest "arribada" thus far recorded in Ostional, took place in November 1995 when a calculated 500 000 females came ashore. The Olive Ridley Sea Turtles of Ostional National Wildlife Refuge in Costa Rica are world famous for their arribadas, huge egg laying seasons. The nesting beach at Ostional can be covered with thousands of turtles during an arribada. Although some believe that arribadas may be correlated with moon phases and tides, there are turtles laying eggs at Ostional Beach throughout most of the year. alvarojm

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