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