Mexico deploys drones to protect sea turtles from poachers

In the country’s bid to fight against poachers, Mexico is using a new weapon in its war against sea turtle poachers. Drones.

Mexico has one of the highest sea turtle populations in the world, with an estimated 1.1 million nests in 2014.

The area of La Escobilla has the highest nesting numbers of any place on Earth. Playa de Escobilla Sanctuary is a waterfront sanctuary for sea turtles in the Mexican state of Oaxaca, with an area of about 30 hectares. During 2014, an estimated 36 million sea turtles were born in all of Mexico.

With August being the start of peak nesting season, Mexican authorities are deploying two drones to keep watch over the areas of Morro Ayuta and La Escobilla beaches in the state of Oaxaca. Sea turtle meat and eggs are protected under Mexican law but continue to be poached and illegally sold in both domestic and international markets.

The Mexican government estimates tens of thousands of the country’s sea turtles are killed each year to egg poaching and illegal fishing practices. Mexico fishermen kill about 2,000 loggerhead sea turtles each year. Loggerhead sea turtles are on the endangered species list.

On Wednesday, federal prosecutor for environmental protection, Guillermo Haro Belchez, said that the drones are watching over La Escobilla and Morro Ayuta beaches in Oaxaca state. Officials aim for “full coverage” of the area to help them fight poaching.

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