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Sea turtle nesting sites okay after tropical storm

Tulum, Q.R. — Turtle nesting points are being checked after the recent tropical storm that swept through the region left a downpour of rain and high waves.

Héctor Lizárraga Cubedo of the Centro Ecológico de Akumal, says that they are still in the process of checking all the nesting sites as well as removing the mounds of sargazo that arrived with the storm. A team of six specialists from the Akumal Ecological Center along with 15 volunteers from the sea turtle conservation program are working on diagnosing the situation.

Cuauhtémoc Martínez of the Municipal Ecology Department says that in Tulum, sea turtle nests managed to weather the storm with only minor damage to fencing and signage. He said that his team managed to relocate 45 nests into a protected coral for the two-day storm.

“The tides and rains did not dramatically affect sea turtle nests along the coast of Tulum. We are doing well with care plans after the storm,” he said.

He says that although the strong current littered beaches with garbage and other debris including sargazo, city staff will set out to clean beaches so nesting turtles will continue to arrive and spawn.

He added that, “The conservation carried out by the Tulum Ecology Department includes collection, sowing, hatching and the releasing of young sea turtles. Regarding collection, the turtle camps are doing very well as we are releasing many turtles.”

While the region has a high rate of nesting sites this year, the process was briefly interrupted by tropical storm Franklin. Lizárraga Cubedo says that as of last week, coastal beaches are home to a total of 810 sea turtle nests.