Golfo Dulce, Costa Rica

In 2010 an important feeding area for sea turtles was discovered in the Golfo Dulce, Costa Rica. The area hosts large number of hawksbill and green turtles.

As a result of the initial discoveries, a project using tangle-nets to catch and monitor sea turtles was started. The turtles are tagged and measured to estimate population size and growth rates. The project has built a rescue center for sick and injured turtles, which are nursed back to health and returned to their natural habitat. The project also promotes the recovery of the coastal marine habitats that these turtles are using, primarily mangroves, and leads mangrove reforestation efforts. Local education and socio-economic improvements in the Golfo Dulce region are being developed through the establishment of a volunteer program that offers new economic alternatives in an area deprived of employment opportunities.


Hundreds of hawksbills and green turtles are caught annually, providing critical information on growth rates, habitat use and resource requirements. Financial support to community members.

  • Generation of scientific information to help with the formulation of management alternatives that contribute to the conservation of marine turtles of the Golfo Dulce.
  • Provision of economic opportunities for families in the community of Playa Blanca who provide extensive eco-tourism services.
  • Demonstration of the importance of seagrass and mangrove habitats for the survival of sea turtle populations in Costa Rica and the Eastern Pacific.


Conservation strategies used by this project site:

In-water Monitoring

Exploratory Habitat Investigations


Outreach and Education

Implementing Organizations

ICAPO’s Role with Implementing Organization

  • Communication with other organizations (information link)
  • Access funding sources
  • Funding proposals
  • Joint management (planning and implementation, reporting)
  • Technical advising (capacity-building, training, protocol/methodology development)
  • Research and publications collaboration