This is where the Research Station raises Olive Ridley sea turtles. The Research Station staff monitors the 3-mile long Hacienda Baru Beach, where sea turtles dig their nests in the sand. The female turtles lay their eggs, cover them up, and then just leave. The eggs are very vulnerable to animal and human predators. If unprotected, many of the nests will be raided and the eggs will never have a chance to hatch. When staff members find a turtle nest, they dig up the eggs and re-bury them in this protected area. The entire area is covered with 3 to 4 feet of sand which mimics the original nest site. Each of the blue tarps in this photo covers the eggs from one turtle nest.