Researchers and volunteers collect data on a nesting leatherback. Note: the turtle is in a trance-like state while nesting and only red lights were used, so this turtle was not being disturbed during this research.
Partially developed hatchling found while excavating a previously hatched nest. For leatherbacks, roughly half of eggs develop into hatchlings that reach the ocean under natural conditions.
Researchers found several straggler leatherback hatchlings while excavating a previously hatched nest, which were then released to the water.
Hatchery at the Las Tortugas Research Station in Costa Rica, where leatherback nests are brought for safekeeping until the nests hatch and hatchlings are released to the water.
A leatherback turtle returns to the water after nesting at Las Tortugas Research Station in Costa Rica.
Estación Las Tortugas is a leatherback conservation project along Costa Rica’s Caribbean coast. They have been working for more than a decade to protect the turtles that nest along 5 km of beach.
Leatherback hatchling at Estacion Las Tortugas. The research team collects data on hatchlings including their weight to make sure they are healthy.
Close up of hatchling.
Volunteers help stragglers get closer to the ocean.
Multiple hatchlings work on making their way towards the ocean.
Hatchlings after crossing the beach towards ocean.
A hatchling makes it way to the ocean.