Mexico: Sea Turtle Country
Marine turtle conservation program in the Riviera Maya
Esperanza or Hope is the most spoiled sea turtle in the turtle hospital in Xcaret. She arrived in 2007 after being attacked by two dogs on the beach. Although Hope was treated in time and with great care affection, her wounds suffered extensive damage which required amputation of both of her frontal fins.
Hope is still recovering, but doing very well. All turtles that come to the hospital are released after being treated, but Hope is a special case. Since she only has two stumps on the front, Hope can not be released into the ocean. She is the darling of the hospital, approaching her protectors to be stroked.
The Rescue and Rehabilitation Center
In 2010, Xcaret was authorized by the Wildlife Department to operate as Rescue and Rehabilitation Center for Sea Turtles. Here, Xcaret caters to all turtles that come to rehabilitate and release.
The team care-givers led by Ana Cecilia Negrete, Veterinarian, developed special techniques such as treating serious injuries through honey, which is a very effective natural antiseptic. The hospital has a specialized health care for turtles that over many years has given exemplary attention to problems of dehydration, injuries attacks by other animals or humans who practice poaching.
Just on October, 22 sea turtles were released into the sea. The hawksbill, loggerhead and White Sea turtle passed their critical stage in the hospital and met the necessary conditions to return to the sea.
Flora, Fauna and Culture of Mexico
The hospital’s efforts join the program for sea turtle conservation by Flora, Fauna and Culture of Mexico, the philanthropic arm of Experiencias Xcaret.
Part of the efforts to conserve the species has led to the development of a program that ensures that the sea turtle exceeds the critical stage of the 15 months. Of the nests that are protected every year, an average of 200 copies remains in Xcaret to be kept and fed until they are able to survive in the wild. Then they are released at sea where the chances of becoming adults are much higher.
The conservation program also is responsible for the care of 13 nesting beaches along the Yucatan Peninsula.
The Sea Turtles of Quintana Roo in Numbers
The results obtained so far reveal that efforts are generating good results
From 1996 to July 2012 have been protected:
3 leatherback nests
13 hawksbill nests
23,246 loggerhead nests
58,312 turtle nests
In total, the program has successfully protected 81,574 sea turtle nests.
From 1996 to July 2012 have been released:
125 leatherback hatchlings
680 hawksbill hatchlings
1 million 624,864 loggerhead turtle hatchlings
3 million 940,795 turtle hatchlings
In total, thanks to this program 5 million 566,464 sea turtle hatchlings have been released.
The sea turtle conservation program operates under the responsibility of Flora, Fauna and Culture of Mexico, Civil Association, philanthropic arm of Experiencias Xcaret which to fund relies on private donations and contributions from the general public, and as the facilities granted by the municipal, state and federal aid.