Ostional National Wildlife Refuge

This refuge, near the Pacific coast town of Nosara, was created to protect the olive ridley turtle. The smaller of all the turtle species that nest on these beaches.

A few turtles crawl onto Ostional Beach every night to bury their eggs in the sand, but several times a year, the beach is witness to massive nesting events when thousands of turtles arrive.

Nancite Beach in Santa Rosa National Park and the wide beach at Ostional constitute the world's two most important nesting sites for the olive ridley turtle. The sector of the beach where the turtles arrive measures about 900 meters long and is located between a rocky point that juts a little into the sea and the estuary of the Ostional River, which in part runs parallel to the beach.

Southeast of the refuge, at the mouth of the Nosara River, there is a large mangrove swamp where 102 species of bird have been identified. Some of the more abundant and attractive species are the brown pelican and the american oystercatcher. which can frequently be seen walking as calm as you please along the beach.

The rocky area that lies in the northwestern corner of the refuge near India Point offers great scenic beauty and innumerable tide pools where it is easy to observe seaweed, sea urchins, starfish, sea anemones and many very colorful little fish.

Crabs, especially those known as Sally lightfoot, ghost, and land hermit abound in the area.

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Leatherback turtle baby heading for the sea

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