Federal, state and municipal authorities that make up the Committee for the Protection and Conservation of Marine Turtles of the State (Coctomy), are concerned about the looting of turtle nests, which has been taking place in some beaches of the Yucatan coast lately.
The problem, which had not occurred in the state before, puts at risk the populations of Hawksbill turtles that arrive in Yucatan to spawn during the nesting season, which occurs from March thru October.
Based on information obtained from local sources, it has been observed that looting has been recorded in Dzilam de Bravo, Telchac Puerto and Sisal.
In this regard, the head of the Department of Natural Resources and Wildlife of the Secretariat of Environment and Natural Resources (Semarnat), Salvador Canul Dzul, reported that during meetings of the committee the managers of the tortuguero fields report that they have found several destroyed nests in the area, in which the eggs were stolen.
“Members of the Committee, specifically people from the SDS and Pronatura camps have stated that there is predation and looting of nests, something that did not use to happen in the State, it was not very common,” he said.
“Yes there are local people who collaborate and report nests or eggs in hatching, but the looting is most likely committed by people who come from other states and have the habit of consuming or selling the turtle eggs”, Canul Dzul declared.
“Despite the threat that this represents for species that are in danger of extinction, the nesting season remains stable. From March to date, 919 Carey turtle nests were registered, a number similar to the one recorded during the same period last year”, the official continued.
The Semarnat projection is that the number of nests will double by the end of the season, which would represent around 89,000 baby turtles.
In the case of nests of the White species, there are still no records because their arrival begins at the end of June until the last days of October.
In addition, 3,749 eggs have been collected on different beaches and are kept under surveillance.
Canul Dzul added that surveillance and protection, care and preservation of turtles will be reinforced in the eight camps in Celestún, Sisal, Arrecife Alacranes, Telchac Puerto, Dzilam de Bravo, Las Coloradas and El Cuyo.
The Yucatan Times Newsroom