Sea Turtle Conservancy has worked for the conservation of endangered sea turtles in Costa Rica since 1959. Tortuguero hosts the largest green turtle (Chelonia mydas) rookery in the Western Hemisphere and also important nesting populations of leatherback (Dermochelys coriacea) and hawksbill (Eretmochelys imbricata) turtles. The Costa Rican legislature declared Tortuguero National Park in 1975 to protect the nesting turtles, the beach and the adjacent terrestrial habitats. STC researchers and volunteers, who are based at STC's John H. Phipps Biological Field Station, continue to monitor nesting trends, growth rates and reproductive success begun by Dr. Archie Carr in the 1950s.
Not only does STC carry out a variety of research initiatives in the region, it offers people around the world the opportunity to join STC in Tortuguero as a Sea Turtle Research Participant in its leatherback or green turtle monitoring project! Each year, turtle-lovers like yourself migrate to this tropical paradise to participate in our hands-on research programs at the edge of the Costa Rican rainforest. Every year, leatherbacks, hawksbills and green turtles return to the land to complete the nesting ritual they have preformed for eons. You can be a part of STC's efforts to conserve these ancient nomads by participating in a field research program.