After remaining closed to the public for a week, the beach and turtle sanctuary at Playa Escobilla, located 40 kilometers east of Puerto Escondido, is back in business.
The Santa María Tonameca sanctuary was closed as a preventive measure in response to the massive die-off of marine life reported in the region and the entire Mexican Pacific coast starting in early June.
Local and federal environmental authorities ruled out contagious diseases as the cause of death, reaching the conclusion that the wild animals likely died of starvation, a situation caused by the developing El Niño and higher-than-average surface water temperatures.
The Tonameca Civil Protection office will remain on alert and will keep watch over a six-kilometer stretch of beach at La Escobilla in preparation for the the first arrival of olive ridley turtles of the 2023-2024 season.
Municipal Civil Protection chief Geovani Ríos Ramírez led a surveillance tour of the area before the reopening of the turtle sanctuary, a “request made by the community, for the protection of visitors [and] to allow the clarification of the event that affected wildlife in the region.”
“The Universidad del Mar (Umar) reported that the massive death of birds recorded on the coast of Oaxaca was caused by starvation in the specimens and ruled out that it was due to bird flu (H5N1) or Newcastle,” he said.
Ríos also urged residents and visitors to inform beach committees, tourists service providers or Civil Protection offices of abnormal situations that they may witness, and above all to avoid touching the bodies of birds or other marine species that might be found on any beaches.
With reports by ORO Radio