State’s sea turtle hatchlings head out to sea

Tulum, Q.R. – The season of nesting sea turtles has been successful in the state of Quintana Roo.

Secretary of Ecology and Environment (SEMA), Rafael Munoz Berzunz, said that the beaches of Quintana Roo account for about half of the world’s Loggerhead and Green sea turtles.

This year, more than 4,350 nests were counted along the coastline. About 480 of those nests were Loggerhead while just over 3,860 were Chelonia mydas or Green sea turtles. Other species noted this year were Leatherback and Hawksbill. Together, they produced nearly 59,500 hatchlings.

Munoz Berzunz explained that the state government, through the EMS and in coordination with civil associations, University of Quintana Roo, Flora Association, Fauna and Culture of Mexico and Conanp, worked in the areas for the protection and conservation of the species of turtles that have arrived along the coast.

According to the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, sea turtles found in and around the Americas are either endangered or critically endangered. Munoz Berzunz explains that early in life, marine turtles have a high mortality rate due to natural predators and anthropogenic threats. He says that while the eggs are still in the incubation stage, they are often preyed upon by animals including crabs and birds.

Of the entire coast, officials say that Xcacel-Xcacelito beach in Tulum remains one of the most important sea turtle nesting sites in the state.  According to Discovery News, sea turtle hatchings experience a 90 percent hatching success rate and 1 percent survival rate up to sexual maturity.

After emerging from their nests, hatchlings immediately make their way to sea, starting a journey that may take them right back to where they hatched, where they will then lay their own eggs.

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