Sea Turtle Conservancy
The Sea Turtle Conservancy, a not-for-profit membership organisation, is the oldest and most accomplished sea turtle organization in the world. Founded in 1959, the Sea Turtle Conservancy has been instrumental in saving the Caribbean green turtles from immediate extinction. While the organisation initially began its work in Tortuguero in Costa Rica, it has now expanded its conservation efforts throughout Central America and the wider Caribbean.
Sea Turtles have existed for more than 100 million years. Much can be learned about the condition of the environment by studying sea turtles and their patterns
Much like Contiki travellers, sea turtles are known to journey the world and have been doing so for millions of years. However, due to the ever growing presence of humans in their natural habitats, these incredible creatures are struggling to survive. The TreadRight Foundation and Contiki are supporting the Sea Turtle Conservancy in its efforts to raise awareness, research, and ultimately help maintain and grow the planet's sea turtle population.
Tortuguero, Costa Rica is home to the largest green turtle rookery (a colony of breeding animals) in the Western Hemisphere, in addition to being an important nesting site for leatherback and hawksbill turtles.
As a result of the valiant efforts carried out by the Sea Turtle Conservancy to help increase awareness of the decline in turtle populations, the Costa Rican legislature declared Tortuguero a National Park in 1975, helping to protect the nesting turtles, the beach and the adjacent terrestrial habitats.
The threats facing sea turtles are numerous and, for the most part, human created. Sea Turtle Conservancy works with the local community in Tortuguero to communicate and demonstrate the value of living sea turtles over turtle meat and eggs.
For the past two years, TreadRight and Contiki Cares have sponsored a turtle in the annual Tour de Turtles race, promoting sea turtle conservation efforts and raising awareness about the many threats sea turtle populations face. The support of Contiki Cares and TreadRight has also funded the purchase of satellite transmitters, which are attached to a sea turtle throughout the race and sends important research data to the Sea Turtle Conservancy.
Additionally, each Contiki traveller visiting Costa Rica as part of the Costa Rica Unplugged Tour has the opportunity to receive an exclusive e-doption of the Contiki and TreadRight sponsored turtle. Once they’ve e-dopted the turtle, they can go online and track their turtle, watching her progress throughout the race, while also learning about the dangerous threat of wildlife crime to sea turtles.
This year, Contiki and TreadRight sponsored Tiki, a hawksbill sea turtle who will be swimming to raise awareness about the threat poaching poses to sea turtles and their eggs. Tiki is an adult female sea turtle who was released on July 2, 2015 with a satelite transmitter after she nested on Tortuguero Beach, Costa Rica.
In 2014, Contiki and TreadRight sponsored and named Esperanza, a green sea turtle. TreadRight and Contiki also sponsored the research of a member of the Sea Turtle Conservancy’s Research Assistantship Program. We also celebrated Earth Month with Contiki Cares by sending 12 storytellers to Costa Rica, accompanied by TreadRight Ambassador Céline Cousteau, to the Sea Turtle Conservancy site in Tortuguero to document their experiences through photography, video and the written word.