Photo: Sea Turtles
Mexican authorities recorded a total of 42.2 million olive ridley, leatherback and Kemp’s ridley sea turtle births during the 2010-2011 nesting season, the Environment and Natural Resources Secretariat said.
Efforts to secure the protection of female turtles and their nests and safeguard hatchlings’ journey to the ocean are led by the National Commission on Natural Protected Areas, or Conanp, at 33 nesting beaches, the secretariat said in a statement Tuesday.
Ten of those beaches are natural protected areas, three are located inside biosphere reserves, 15 are internationally designated Ramsar wetlands sites and the remainder are located in areas without special protection mechanisms, the secretariat said.
Approximately 1.2 million Olive Ridley turtle nests were laid and 23.3 million offspring made their way to the ocean at the Playa de Escobilla sanctuary and Morro Ayuta beach, both located in the southern state of Oaxaca.
A total of 20,574 Kemp’s ridley turtle nests were laid in the northeastern state of Tamaulipas and 534 in the eastern state of Veracruz and an estimated 18.9 million hatchlings reached the sea in those two regions.
“The nesting figure for the latest season is up (compared to the previous season), and therefore the conclusion can be drawn that the population is on the road to recovery,” the secretariat said.
In the case of the leatherback turtle, one of the most threatened turtle species in Mexico, authorities counted a total of 615 nests, mainly on the coasts of the Pacific states of Michoacan, Guerrero and Oaxaca.
In those states, Conanp supervised the entrance to the sea of 15,414 leatherback offspring.
However, the secretariat estimates that around 1,647 leatherback turtle nests were laid along the entire Pacific coast during the 2010-2011 nesting season.
Invasion of their habitat (beaches) by man, accidental fishing, depredation of their nests by some communities that still consume their flesh and eggs and injuries suffered by boats’ outboard motors are the main dangers sea turtles in Mexico face.
Mexico has banned the harvest of sea turtles for commercial or subsistence reasons since April 2006.