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May 27, 2011

Olive Ridley´s Nesting Season Began on Mexico’s Pacific Coast.

Volunteers take action to protect marine turtles.
Image provided by Mayto's Turtle Camp.

ACAPULCO- Volunteers from turtle camps in Michoacan, Jalisco, Baja California Sur and Guerrero began activities for the beginning of the Olive Ridley turtle-nesting season. 

In Ixtapilla, Michoacan “hundreds of sea turtles surprised the volunteers in a massive early arrival,” said Gilberto Reyes, leader of the group in this area that protects the turtles. Ixtapilla is one of only three Mexican beaches where the early arrival occurs.

At a turtle camp in Mayto, Jalisco, the first two nests have already been laid, explained Israel Llamas. Mayto is a town in Cabo Corrientes. Llamas, who is in charge of the camp which is run by the University of Guadalajara, assures that there are three marine turtle species nesting along the Mayto´s 7.5 miles of pristine beach. Llamas said, “During night patrols we would find different beach inhabitants such coyotes, raccoons, armadillos, among others;” animals that are a threat to sea turtles that want to make their way to the ocean. 

According to Llamas, the best months for sea turtle watching are August, September and October.  He asks people to take action and get involved as volunteers. He says that it “is a very good opportunity to observe the marine turtle nesting process from their arrival and all their ritual under the light of the stars; as well as the hatchlings fight to reach the beach surface after the incubation period, and their fight to get the beach and begin their marine life”.

Carlos Villalobos Martínez, from Los Cabos, Baja California Sur, where he protects more than 5 miles of beach, is in charge of the Grupo Hotelero Pueblo Bonito. Martinez also began activities for the Olive Ridley season. “We have an incubation corral and I am in charge of the operation”, he said. “We are a hotel enterprises network conformed by several companies and organizations working together with the town of Los Cabos”. This initiative is called Red Para La Protección de Tortugas Marinas de Los Cabos Municipality (Red Protormar), which in English means Network for the Protection of Sea Turtles in the Municipality of Los Cabos.

In Guerrero, Baltazar de la Cruz, who leads the “Happy Turtle camp,” works hard in Juluchuca, in the Petatlán Municipality. He said “We have turtles all year, so we don’t stop protecting them because if we do, poachers might steal from the nests.”