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HISTORY OF THE OSTIONAL NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE

About the Ostional National Wildlife Refuge: Where and what is this sea turtle sanctuary?

The Ostional National Wildlife Refuge was established in 1983 with the primary mission as the conservation of sea turtles and the protection of their reproductive habitat. Additionally, the Ostional National Wildlife Refuge protects important habitat for a diversity of coastal and marine flora and fauna, with connectivity through the Rio Nosara Biological Corridor to Parque Nacional Barra Honda.

The Ostional National Wildlife Refuge extends 15 km along the shoreline, including the beaches of Ostional, Nosara, Pelada, and Guiones. It covers 200 m of coastline, also extending inland along estuaries and mangroves and including 3 nautical miles of marine protected area.

 


THE RNVSO AREA MAP
View the Ostional National Wildlife Refuge Marine and Terrestrial Protected Area (RNVSO) ArcGIS overview and map viewer.
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THE EGG HARVEST PROGRAM

About the Ostional Egg Harvest Program

Ostional is the only beach in the world where a legal harvest and commercialization of sea turtle eggs exists. The take of eggs was justified by scientific studies which found a large percentage of nests are destroyed by subsequently nesting turtles during the arribada.

Therefore, in 1987 the government of Costa Rica established a law that allows the community of Ostional to harvest a small percentage of the eggs laid during the first three days of the arribada. In return, the Asociación de Desarrollo Integral de Ostional (ADIO) is responsible for protecting the turtles, cleaning debris from the beach, and patrolling day and night for poachers.

Learn More

Campbell, L. M. (1998). Use them or lose them? Conservation and the consumptive use of marine turtle eggs at Ostional, Costa Rica. Environmental Conservation, 25 (4), 305–319.
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Campbell, L. (2007). Sustainability of community-based conservation: Sea turtle egg harvesting in Ostional (Costa Rica) ten years later. Environmental Conservation, 34 (2): 122–131.
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Valverde, R. A., Orrego, C. M., Tordoir, M. T., Gomez, F. M., Solis, D. S., Hernandez, R. A., Spotila, J. R. (2012). Olive ridley mass nesting ecology and egg harvest at Ostional Beach, Costa Rica. Chelonian Conservation and Biology, 11 (1), 1–11.  
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Ostional National Wildlife Refuge Administration

The team of park rangers at the Ostional National Wildlife Refuge are an essential asset to the protection and conservation of this important habitat.

Ostional National Wildlife Refuge contact info

Phone: (+506) 2682-0400  •  (+506) 2682-0937
Follow the Refuge on Facebook:
Refugio Nacional de Vida Silvestre de Ostional

Ostional National Wildlife Refuge Park Rangers

Download the Ostional National Wildlife Refuge Guide

SEA TURTLES AT THE
OSTIONAL NATIONAL
WILDLIFE REFUGE
Three species of protected sea turtles nest at the Ostional National Wildlife Refuge: the olive ridley (Lepidochelys olivacea), Pacific green (Chelonia mydas agassizii), and leatherback (Dermochelys coriacea) sea turtle. Of the three sea turtle species, olive ridley sea turtle arribadas are the most abundant at the Ostional National Wildlife Refuge in Costa Rica.