Sea Turtle extinction: NOT GLOBAL WARMING - but egg thieves!

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Detailed Analysis:

Every picture tells a story, they say. However, just how accurate and relevant that story may be is dependant on the context in which the picture appears and the preconceptions and expectations of the viewer. Things are not always what they seem.

This widely circulated series of images depicting the collection of turtle eggs from a beach in Costa Rica is a case in point. The photographs themselves are perfectly genuine and they certainly do show the harvesting of turtle eggs. However, this egg harvest is not an illegal poaching operation nor is it an environmentally destructive "attack against nature" as suggested in the text that accompanies these photographs.

Instead, the turtle egg harvest is an important part of a long-term environmental project developed and managed by the Costa Rican government. The photographs show an egg harvest by villagers at Ostional beach, a remote community near Punta Gurones on Costa Rica's Pacific coast. In 1983, the Costa Rican government created the Ostional Wildlife Refuge in the area and later initiated the Egg Harvest Project (EHP). The EHP allowed villagers to continue their traditional practice of harvesting eggs while furthering the long term goal of assisting in the conservation and recovery of the Olive Ridley turtle species. The harvests are strictly controlled, with villagers only allowed to take eggs within the first day and a half of each egg laying event, known as an "arribada"


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