Tuesday, July 13, 2010

New Phase, New Faces

Friday saw the beginning of a new phase in Jalova and the arrival of 18 new volunteers to assist us in our investigations in Tortuguero National Park. Marcus, Arno, Deanna, Sonja, Karen B, Karen L, Lauren, Edouard, Herman, Johannah, Kim, Kirsty, Kyle, Mallory, Melissa, Rachel, Sarah and Sam have joined us, and with 7 different nationalities represented we have one of the most diverse groups ever (group photo below).

The team were thrust straight into the action with lessons and walks outlining the finer points of the Turtle Program. Field Staff Marta Fabregas lead the intrepid bunch on a morning beach walk and everyone was amazed by the number of fresh turtle tracks that can be found so early in the green season. It turned out to be a great lesson in track identification and even gave everyone their first green turtle (Chelonia mydas) sighting. Along with the mating turtles that were easily viewable less then 100m offshore, there was a surprise to be had at mile 16 6/8 where a jaguar had predated a green just the night before.
“It was a lot bigger than I expected and smelled awful. However it was still good and it was interesting seeing all the vultures around” said Melissa Cooper, a 5 week volunteer.
Everyone will agree that it was a great start to training week and we all look forward to the 10 weeks to come.