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Olive Ridley turtles return to Rocky Point

The season has come for return of Olive Ridley turtles to Rocky Point’s beaches, where they come to lay their eggs along with hope for the species’ reproduction. In recent years, Olive Ridley turtles have appeared along our coasts primarily in August and September to spawn before returning to sea.

When this natural occurrence takes place along the popular beaches of Rocky Point, SEMARNAT and ZOFEMAT launch coastal protocols to help safeguard the sea turtles. The Secretary of the Environment and Natural Resources, along with the office of the Federal Maritime Land Zone, work to make sure sea turtles are not bothered when laying their eggs, as well as to see that eggs are removed to a safer spot under optimum temperatures to ensure they hatch within coming weeks.

The Olive Ridley depositing of eggs along our coasts is protected by endangered species Norm 059, particularly in the area of Sandy Beach where several yearly reports are made of turtles coming out of the sea to lay their eggs.

If someone spots a turtle coming out of the water to nest on the beach, protocol is to report this to ZOFEMAT, the municipal police, or safety personnel near where the sighting occurs (report to 911), who in turn can notify authorities in charge of cordoning off the area. It is important to avoid crowding around to reduce any stress on the sea turtles while they spawn. Safety personnel at beachside resorts and hotels also take part in protection procedures, acting as supervisors and in notifying authorities.

Given elevated temperatures along our coasts, in the majority of cases, after the eggs are deposited they are removed by a specialized biologist and put into artificial incubation. This helps with the turtles’ survival rate, and hatching process within approximately 45 to 60 days.

Once the baby turtles hatch, they are returned to the spot of the nest for release so they can make their way to the sea. This, of course, is a phenomenal natural sight to witness!

When Olive Ridley turtles spawn on more remote beaches where nests may not be spotted, the development process takes place naturally underground. If some turtles manage to hatch and survive, they make their way to the sea on their own.

If you are fortunate enough to see a turtle coming out onto the beach in search of a spot to make its nest, be sure to report this to help ensure their protection.

In addition to being a beautiful destination to rest and relax, this corner of the Sea of Cortez is privileged given a rich variety of natural occurrences, which then become spectacular sights to behold. Among these is that of sea turtles making their way onto the beach to spawn, along with the release of baby turtles and return to the sea, as well as whale watching possibilities earlier in the year.

Rocky Point offers the best in hotels, cuisine, fun, beaches, attention, and service, but is also a privileged spot given the rich ecosystems and marine species of the Sea of Cortez. This isn’t called the World’s Aquarium for nothing!

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