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"Thanks to Master's Degree in Biodiversity I am able to cope with adverse situations in the environmental field."

Francisco Durán Vian has been an environmental volunteer for several organizations in Costa Rica.

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A sea turtle specimen
PHOTO: Courtesy

Francisco Durán Vian studied Environmental Sciences at the Universidad Europea Miguel de Valladolid and completed the Master's Degree in Biodiversity, Landscapes and Sustainable management at the University of Navarra. After finishing it, his"passion for nature and animals" took him to Costa Rica, one of the world's biodiversity hotspots.

As she says, "I felt the need to have a direct and real contact with this world, so I started looking for organizations in the conservation of nature in that country. Thus, his first stop was the project of the association of Volunteers for Service in Protected Areas called "Quelonios del Caribe" dedicated to the conservation of sea turtles.

This is a reservation with a large influx of leatherback turtles, which are in danger of extinction. There he worked on various maintenance tasks at project and learned some notions about these animals. "We had no electricity or running water and we ate the fish we caught in the river or in the sea," he explains.

After 15 days there he went to project Playa Buenavista, another initiative for turtle conservation. There he had contact with these living beings and with the world of research. "That beach receives four species of turtles. Every night approximately 200 hatchlings were born. Our goal was to locate the turtle and mark it, note the nesting stage it was in, environmental conditions, place, time, length of nesting and collect the eggs it laid to take them to the hatchery.""In Costa Rica, turtle meat and eggs continue to be traded illegally. Every night we found egg thieves (hueveros), so we had to be faster than them to find the nests," he adds.

At "Las Pumas" Rescue Center

Finally, his experience in Costa Rica ended at the Wildlife Rescue Center "Las Pumas" whose mission statement is torescue those wild animals that have result been injured for various reasons or that are in houses, hotels... victims of illegal trade. "Later, some of them are exhibited to, by the way, impart some notions of environmental Education ".

"There I worked closely with the center's veterinarian and we did rescue and release work. Another of my duties was attending to the public, which broadened my knowledge of the animals on exhibit." 

After evaluating his time at Master's Degree in Biodiversity, Francisco Durán points out that "thanks to the knowledge they have given us, I have been able to manage in adverse situations in the environmental field". He also highlights the support of the different professors, "for which I am very grateful".