- Explore Nicaragua online

Finally an arribada: more than 29 thousand turtles | Nov 3, 2005

Further Reading

Finally the expected arribada occurred at Natural Reserve La Flor. This event was expected ever since the second half of October. Spread out over a period of six days, a total of 29,181 Olive Ridley turtles invaded the La Flor Beach (a small beach with a width of 600 meters) to dig a nest and deposit their eggs.

This arribada, which has been the largest arribada of the year, took place in the final week of October, between the 26th and the 31st. The turtle arrival had been expected ever since the 22nd of the same month.

José Zolotov, investigator and councillor from the Cocibolca Foundation (the organistration that manages the reserve) stated that this was the most strictly protected arribada that took place at La Flor. The parties involved in the protection included the National Police, the Nicaraguan Army, the Environmental Procurator, the municipality of San Juan del Sur, the Ministry of Envirnomental Affairs (MARENTA), and the foundation itself.

This strong protection was caused by a recent discovery that almost all eggs from all past arribadas this year were stolen right from the beach. People from neighboring communities were involved in the theft, and an ex-manager of the Cocibolca Foundation is also suspected to have played a role in this scandal.

Starting with this arribada, MARENA stopped allowing people from neighboring communities to take 10% of the eggs that are deposited during arribadas, as a consequence of the participation of the people in the recent egg-robberies. This part of the eggs was given to the people from the area in exchange for support in protecting the reserve.

During the recent arribada, 1,958 freshly laid nests of eggs were destroyed by turtles that dug a hole at the same place as another turtle. This, however, is part of the natural cycle that takes place at La Flor, according to Zolotov. The hatching of the small turtles (between 220 and 233 thousand turtles) will take place 45 to 50 days afterwards. That means between the 10th and the 15th of December. According to the calculations of the Cocibolca Foundation and MARENA, the next arribada will start around the 20th of November at La Flor, and this time between 15,000 and 20,000 turtles are expected.