Rainforest Concern

Protecting threatened leatherback turtles

Rainforest Concern’s Urpiano marine turtle conservation project on the Caribbean coast of Costa Rica, focuses on stopping the illegal destruction of leatherback turtle nests and the poaching of eggs. It also provides vital environmental education and employment opportunities for the local community.

history Campaign has now closed

It ran from 12:00 PM, 22 April 2022 to 12:00 PM, 29 April 2022

Registered Charity in England and Wales (1028947)

open_in_new http://www.rainforestconcern.org
Check mark Match funded

Campaign target


Amount raised




Championed by The Big Give Trust


  • AnimalsAnimals
  • Education/Training/EmploymentEducation/Training/Employment
  • Environment/ConservationEnvironment/Conservation


  • General Public/HumankindGeneral Public/Humankind
  • Young People (18-30)Young People (18-30)
  • OtherOther


Costa Rica


Populations of leatherback turtles are declining around the world. The major threats to the species include: collection of eggs or turtles for human consumption; coastal development; climate change and fishing bycatch. Research shows that, in particular, nest destruction for egg consumption continues to hinder population recovery. Urpiano beach has a high density of nesting turtles, historically attracting illegal poachers who destroy the nests to collect eggs. Many are from the local community.


Key to the survival of the colony are: direct protection of nests; educating the local community as to the need to protect the leatherback turtle; employing and training local people (who may have been involved in the egg poaching trade) - aimed at changing attitudes to the turtles and therefore behaviours. Initial studies in 2015 showed 100% of nests destroyed. Since 2016, Rainforest Concern have been addressing these three strands, and gradually increasing the number of nests saved each year.