Prior to the official start of the sea turtle nesting season in Quintana Roo, on May 1, the first nests have already been reported on the beaches of the Playa del Carmen-Tulum corridor.
The Akumal Ecological Center registered its first nest of the season last Thursday April 16th, while four more were reported on the beaches of the Tulum National Park in previous days.
“In late March, a leatherback turtle nest was reported on the beaches of Cancun. Although this is the first species that arrives this year, the Mexican Caribbean only registers one or two specimens per year, so they do not mark the beginning of the season”, explained biologist Gisela Maldonado Saldaña, from the Grupo Tortuguero del Caribe.
The specimens that have arrived in recent days in Akumal and Tulum are of the loggerhead and hawksbill species, with a much more significant number of nests.
However, the species that makes the difference is the Caribbean white or green turtle, whose spawning exceeds one million hatchlings in the state, according to reports from the State Committee for the Protection of Sea Turtles.
Héctor Lizárraga, from the Akumal Ecological Center, indicated that they are waiting for what will happen this season in the conditions of the beaches: without tourists, lights or noise to disturb the turtles’ nesting activity.
He said that due to the bi-annual nesting cycle of chelonians, it is expected that this season will be low in the number of nests, but it is not known whether the current situation could lead to an increase in spawning.
Héctor Lizarraga explained that residents of the Akumal area will support with volunteer monitoring tasks, since it will not be possible to hire staff this year.
“The lack of personnel makes it difficult to track the nests and record the trawling footprint of each turtle, essential for annual monitoring that allows data collection for conservation strategies”, Lizárraga concluded.
Source: The Riviera Maya Times
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