Green Sea Turtles of Costa Rica
There are two different species of Green Sea Turtles that visit the shores of Costa Rica on both the Caribbean and the Pacific Coastlines at various times of the year.
Green Sea Turtles inhabit the Pacific Ocean, the Caribbean Sea, Mangrove Swamps and nesting beaches. The two different species can be observed in Tortuguero National Park, Cahuita National Park, Manzanillo-Gandoca National Wildlife Refuge, Marino Ballena National Park and Marino Las Baulas National Park in Costa Rica.
Mating & Reproduction
The mating season for Green Sea Turtles of the Caribbean is usually June to September. They mate in the water, and the female is dominant in regards to copulation. In some cases, females will take multiple mates. The female lays a clutch of 100 to 200 eggs on the beach where she was born, covers the eggs and returns to the sea. Nesting can occur year round.
The female Pacific Galapagos Green Sea Turtle only produces a brood every two to three years. Mating also occurs offshore, and nesting is done at beaches that are often the same as the one they were born at. The problem that Galapagos Green Turtles face is the drier sand of the Pacific Coast beaches. This has caused the Galapagos Green to adopt a habit of laying the 50 to 200 eggs with her flipper in the cave to keep cave ins from happening.
In the Caribbean, Green Sea Turtles of the species Chelonia mydas return to their original nesting waters from June to September, and the species Chelonia Agassizii returns to its original nesting sites throughout the year on the Pacific side.
The diet of Green Sea Turtles consists of mangrove trees when they are young, and marine algae, eelgrasses and kelp when they grow up and live in the ocean.
Both the Green Sea Turtle of the Caribbean and the Galapagos Green of the Pacific migrate thousands of kilometers between feeding and nesting sites throughout the year. They travel by way of sea currents, and they are exceptionally adept swimmers.
The Galapagos Green Turtle of the Pacific coast is the only sea turtle known to nest on the Galapagos Islands. It also isn’t exactly green, but has a darker complected carapace.
Where to see it in Costa Rica: Tortuguero National Park, Cahuita National Park, Manzanillo Gandoca National Wildlife Refuge, Marino Ballena National Park, Marino Las Baulas National Park
Diet: mangrove trees, marine algae, eelgrasses, kelp
Migration Pattern: June to September returns to the Caribbean for Mating, returns to nesting beach of origin in the Pacific
Habitat: Pacific Ocean, Caribbean Sea, Mangrove Swamp, Beach
Size: length=78-99 cm weight=315 kg
Species: Chelonia mydas, Chelonia agassizii