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    Tamarindo Wildlife RefugeTamarindo Wildlife Refuge Tamarindo Beach, Costa Rica
    The Tamarindo Wildlife Refuge in Costa Rica was created to protect the extensive mangrove swamps of the region, when locals saw the encroaching developments and high rise developments that were creeping in on Tamarindo and believed that these developments would destroy much of the area and its beautiful beaches. This region contains many types of mangrove species that have flourished here for centuries and include the black mangrove, buttonwood mangrove, white mangrove and tea mangrove, with a multitude of birds making their homes in these swamps that include the blue heron, muscovy duck, egret and white ibis, as well as the leatherback turtles. The leatherbacks are the biggest of the sea turtles, growing up to be 6 to 8 feet long and up to 1500 pounds, with a thick skin covering that has earned them the name leatherbacks. These turtles will lay up to 200 eggs at one time in one night, and many tours will bring you here in the evening to watch for the hatchlings as they emerge from their nests and head towards the ocean waters and life. These unique turtles was another reason for protecting the park, who come here from November to April to lay their eggs and then head into the waters off the coast.

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    Marino Las Baulas National ParkMarino Las Baulas National Park Tamarindo Beach, Costa Rica
    The Las Baulas National Marine Park is also known as the Playa Grande Marine Turtle National Park or in Spanish it is known as Parque Nactional Marino Las Baulas and is a nature preserve in Tamarindo, Costa Rica that is part of the Temisque Conservation Area that spans 54,000 acres. This park supports the biggest nesting colony of leatherback sea turtles on the Costa Rican coast, with over half the park underwater but protected, allowing numerous recreational activities like scuba diving. There are many areas in Costa Rica that are now being protected or preserved since the construction of new homes, businesses and the like have begun encroaching upon the many beautiful natural resources and environments of this fantastic island. The park is located on the Pacific side of the country, close to the town of Tamarindo. The area supports about 800 female leatherback turtles, but the numbers are dwindling since it has been used for a variety of reasons over the span of history. The first settlers to the country would use their meat and eggs to supplement their diet, although it is believed that this early destruction would have little effect on the population since there weren't that many settlers and the turtles would repopulate during the course of a year. It was in later years, when the turtle eggs would become part of the aphrodisiac market that came here to raid their nests, but the real problems occurred when commercial harvest was done to use the eggs as an ingredient to factory baked cookies, and then the exporting of them to Asia as a delicacy.

May 6, 2011