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Protection of sea turtles in the Yucatan

by Yucatan Times
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Currently, sea turtle nest predation is decreasing in the Yucatan Peninsula, and only in the coast of Celestun, El Cuyo, and Holbox four cases were detected, the lowest national incidence, said the director of Pronatura Yucatan Peninsula, Maria Andrade Hernandez.

She highlighted the achievements obtained in the camps run by Pronatura, which means that sea turtles are getting closer and closer to ceasing to be in danger of extinction.

She recognized the decrease in the rate of predation, which is registered both by wildlife, such as raccoons, and very rarely by looting, by people.

She explained that each season, for every 25 nests detected, only one is depredated, and the problem is also tending to decrease, since the population is increasingly aware of the protection of the chelonians.

She commented that last year there was an increase in the arrival of green turtles on the Yucatan coast, specifically in Celestun and El Cuyo, as well as in Quintana Roo, in Holbox.

“There is a sample of growth in the population, however, it is not enough because it is a long-living species and more time is required to get them out of danger of extinction”, expressed the specialist.

turtle swimming underwater
Photo by Tanguy Sauvin on Pexels.com

During the interview she mentioned that the increase registered in 2022 was higher compared to the previous year, and it is expected that this season will be more successful.

“We are on the right track, the work is yielding results, in terms of the number of nests and hatchlings,” she stressed.

They are currently in the planning process, given that the season will begin next April, to conclude in October.

The green or white turtle (Chelonia mydas) feeds on algae and sea grass in the Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean Sea, weighs up to 110 kilos, and arrives at the coast between May and October, forming between two to five nests each season, where they lay about 100 eggs.

Andrade Hernandez recommended the population to avoid handling, touching, harassing or disturbing the chelonians, as well as not to dig or step on the nests.

In addition, Andrade Hernández emphasized that the use of vehicles, motorcycles or horses on the beaches is prohibited, as well as the use of flash photography or light sources in the area.

Likewise, it is forbidden to retain, take and/or trade sea turtles, as it is a federally sanctioned crime. In the event of detecting a sea turtle, the person must remain at a minimum distance of 10 meters, and he recommended not to throw solid waste.

TYT Newsroom

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