Tonalá, Mexico, Nov 6 (EFE).- Hundreds of sea turtle hatchlings were released on Puerto Arista beach in Tonalá in the southeastern Mexican state of Chiapas on Sunday as part of a protection and conservation program.
The releases have been carried out since 1991, a year after the Sea Turtle Protection and Conservation Program was established.
“Fortunately, over these 30 years, there has been an increase in the number of nesting females arriving, which is why four turtle camps have been consolidated, managed by the state government through the Ministry of the Environment and Natural History,” Roberto Flores, coordinator of the Puerto Arista turtle conservation camp, told EFE.
Chiapas has four nesting sites, each hosting around 3,000 nests.
The species that arrive at these Pacific Ocean beaches include the green/black turtle, hawksbill, olive ridley and leatherback, all in danger of extinction.
“From the first of July we started the preliminary work. Starting at 8 am we begin the permanent monitoring stage, nest marking and care. Now we enter the release phase that takes place daily in support of the hatchlings in their entry into the sea,” said Esdras Ruiz Gutiérrez, camp technician.
Despite the fact that there is awareness work carried out among the local residents about the importance of turtles for the ecosystem and the environment, nest looters continue to sell the eggs. On the black market they can be purchased for up to 100 pesos (about $5) a dozen.
For biologists and researchers, climate change is a concern because “the increase in temperature is generating the reproduction of more female than male turtles, causing an imbalance in the ecosystem,” biologist Flores said. EFE