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Sea turtle eggs being eaten by loose dogs

Riviera Maya, Q.R. — Members of the sea turtle monitoring committee at Mahahual have requested the assistance of Profepa for loose dogs consuming turtle eggs.

The Mahahual Surveillance Committee received visits from Profepa inspectors to start a dog cage project. They say that people in the area are not keeping their dogs confined at night and the dogs are wandering the beaches, digging up turtle eggs and eating them.

Víctor Rosales, a member of the Monitoring Committee, says they have talked with the owners of the dogs and asked them to tie the dogs, or in these particular cases, receive a cage to confine the dogs overnight.

“We have asked the inspectors of Profepa to support us on the issue of dogs where we offer a program to make cages to put the dogs at night so they do not eat turtle eggs. We have noticed that eggs have been preyed upon by dogs from the coastal huts,” he said.

He indicated that they have tried to raise awareness with the people, suggesting that they tie their pets, or if they are interested, they can use a cage to shelter them during the night.

Rosales explained that they have tried to provide environmental education to the population and students about the life of the turtles, from the time they are born until they reach adulthood. However, at night they continue to do the beach patrols in order to prevent the continued the slaughter by dogs or the continual looting of eggs by humans.

He added that although there is no hard data on the nesting turtle population in the Mahahual region, it is known that people come to Mahahual more than other places to steal sea turtle eggs.

Poaching, the looting of eggs and the consumption and sale of meat from sea turtles, is considered a federal crime according to the General Law of Wildlife.