Playa Tortuga Crocodilian Monitoring Volunteer Programme, Costa Rica
Organisation: WorkingAbroad Projects
Country: Costa Rica
Type: Agriculture & Forestry, Community Development, Environment & Wildlife Conservation, Humanitarian & Community Development, Manual work & Construction
Conservation volunteers work within a non-profit biological research and education centre, and all food, lodging, training and research will be provided within the reserve.
The main objective of this study is to collect real information about the Crocodilians at the Reserve area: their distribution, relationship with the environment and the human impact on the ecosystem. Do an initial profile of the population, in order to help the conservation and management of this species adding new information about its condition in the South Pacific of Costa Rica.
Because it is an initial incursion, the research shall consist, of nocturnal monitoring- two times per week walking or by Kayak (depending of the tide) and detection (with flashlights). Volunteers will count the number of animals and mark the location with GPS. Small size individuals (less than 1 metre) will be manually captured to determine the species, size, sex and condition.
Playa Tortuga is located just 3.5 hours from San Jose, in Ojochal de Osa on the Southern Pacific Coast Of Costa Rica. The Reserve offers an ideal environment for researchers and volunteers. It is located in the tropical rainforest and just outside of Marino Ballena National Park. This park is named after the humpback whales that migrate there from August – October and December – April. Three species of dolphins are also common visitors to the waters. Visitors can explore miles of deserted beaches, mangrove forests and coral reefs. On days off you can take a bus to visit Dominical and Uvita, local towns where you can go surfing, or arrange a full day snorkelling trip to Cano Island, go whale watching or do a mangrove tour by kayak. In addition, you can find local souvenirs and ice cream parlours, which are a favourite with the volunteers!
Conservation volunteers live at the research centre – the property itself is on 42 hectares of reserve which borders the Pacific ocean and the Terraba. The facilities currently hold 15 people in the main centre, in addition to a private residence used for conferences and training. Facilities are of high quality. Volunteers live in large, spacious and clean rooms, all have fans and new orthopaedic mattresses. You also get free internet usage, 1 free laundry wash per week, a purified water system, education and a small research library area is also available for volunteers. From Monday to Friday, all lunch meals are provided for you, but you will need to prepare your own breakfasts and dinners and weekend meals alongside other volunteers/staff members. All food will be provided.
Projects at Playa Tortuga run all year round. Volunteers can join for 1 week up to 12 weeks, while there is also the possibility to intern for up to 6 months.