The Ostional Wildlife Refuge in Costa Rica was created in 1984 to protect one of the world's most important nesting sites of the olive ridley sea turtle.
The turtles generally arrive on the high tide at night but during an "arribada" start arriving around 4 p.m. and keep coming until 7 a.m. the next morning. The largest "arribada" thus far recorded in Ostional, took place in November 1995 when a calculated 500 000 females came ashore.
Turtles nest at Ostional year round, but peak time is during rainy season. From August through December arribadas occur regularly once, sometimes even twice a month and the number of nesting females are in the range of hundreds of thousands as opposed to tens of thousands for the dry season months.
Women and children from the community of Ostional accompany the hatchlings as they clamber toward the sea, protecting them from dogs and vultures.
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