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Sea turtle egg counts down in Riviera Maya from passing storms, natural cycle

Riviera Maya, Q.R. — With only a few weeks left of turtle season, egg counts are down this year due to weather conditions and, what some are calling, a natural cycle.

Armando Lorences Camargo, director of the Marine Turtle Protection Program for Solidaridad says that the recent rains and high waves have been partially responsible for the decrease in egg numbers this year with about 250 being swept out to sea.

He says that the storms from the previous week created a situation that saw eggs pulled from the beaches of Xpu-há south of Solidaridad.

“Two nests were lost in Xpu-ha, the tide took them. It’s normal and it’s not a significant number if we consider how many nests exist since each nest has approximately 120 eggs,” he noted.

He pointed out that currently 2,774 nests have been counted, equivalent to nearly 111,500 offspring of three species in only 20 linear kilometers of the Solidaridad coast.

He also said that despite the amount of turtles released by the conservation department, this figure is lower than in previous years due to the natural cycle of the species.

“We expected less turtle ovation than we had, as is normal. One year many arrive, another less and so we remain stable with the figures because it did not decrease significantly.”

He said he was not sure how other municipalities made out with their figures this year. “We still do not know if the same thing happened in other parts of the state,” adding that monitoring continues around the state and numbers will be known in a few weeks when the season ends.

To date, the Ecological Center of Akumal says they have released 25,000 hatchlings. José Manuel González Pérez, in charge of the sea turtle conservation program, reports 469 nests this year. He says that they too, were affected by the passing storms explaining that two nests were flooded and 11 marker stakes disappeared.

Sea turtle season for the region runs until the end of October.