A photo is worth a thousand words -- sometimes.

We received an email this morning with a series of photos saying they depicted why sea turtles were endangered concluding "and it is not global warming!"
[That explanation should set off warning bells...]

The sole other caption was "Costa Rica" and the photos showed dozens of people digging a beach and loading up sacks of eggs in front of, one imagines, forlorn turtles.

Some Googling finds that the photos are true, but the message is false:

The egg collection is part of a government-run program that allows a very short stint of egg collecting (to satisfy a traditional demand for the eggs and their presumed aphrodisiac powers) while also preventing the destruction of many eggs by the turtles themselves who come back to lay in another wave.

Anti-hoax explanation webpage

Substantiated by a Costa Rican government website

Report by NPR journalist about the complex politics and economics of egg harvesting and environmental protection in a poor area on website of Sustainable Development Reporting Project (SDRP)
NPR's own website shows that Burnett did do a story in 1997 but there is no audio on line). How is it that a story by an NPR journalist is not on NPR's website but is on the SDRP one (yes, we checked),  here is the reason offered by the SDRP website:

John Burnett, NPR
"The Sustainable Development Reporting Project is a year-long endeavor to look at the most promising and important sustainable development programs in Central America. It is made possible by a grant from the Mexico City office of the Ford Foundation. The topics include sustainable forestry, ecotourism, sustainable agriculture, biodiversity protection, and endangered species protection. The project is producing 10 stories to be aired on National Public Radio between August 1997 and March 1998. All stories are being rewritten in print format for UT-LANIC, the University of Texas at Austin's Latin American Network Information Center. 

The Project Director is John Burnett, for 12 years Southwest Correspondent for NPR based in Austin, Texas. Burnett took a year-long leave of absence from his regular duties covering Texas to travel in Central America, research the stories, write them and produce them."

Various Costa Rica B and B sites list the egg laying as a reason to visit.

So... please protect sea turtles and all of nature, but do not believe every action email you receive.  Always do your research!