A new measure has been implemented to protect the threatened olive ridley turtles during their nesting season at Playa Escobilla: details about the turtles’ arrivals will now be kept quiet.
The practice of revealing arrival numbers and dates will be discontinued following a decision by residents of the towns of Guapinole and Barra del Potrero, the Escobilla Ecotourism Center, the environmental organization Costa Salvaje, the National Commission of Natural Protected Areas (Conanp), the Mexican Turtle Center and the Mexican navy, among others.
The organizations stated in a press release that the measure is intended to prevent outsiders from taking advantage of the arribadas, as the olive ridley’s unique synchronized mass nesting events are called.
Thieves loot the eggs and kill the turtles for their meat, both of which are then sold in the markets of Juchitán and other locations in the Coast and Isthmus of Tehuantepec regions.
The new measure is also designed to keep large numbers of visitors from arriving to witness the arribadas, when thousands of females come together on the same beach to lay their eggs. The conservationists believe that visitors can cause disorder in the sanctuary and among the turtles themselves.
“To avoid [looting], sightings are made with a community guide authorized and trained by Conanp, who will recommend the best way to avoid impacting the sanctuary’s ecosystem and not harming the species,” explained the Escobilla Ecotourism Center. “Together we can take care of the most beautiful turtle beach in the world,” it added.
The organizations participating in the crusade for the preservation and care of the marine species on the Oaxacan coast remarked that while many achievements have been made, the threat is still latent.
One of the last official reports on arribadas was released last month, when more than 300,000 olive ridley turtles were reported to have arrived in less than a week.
Located 40 kilometers east of Puerto Escondido, the Playa Escobilla sanctuary encompasses a 10-kilometer-long beach located in the municipality of Santa María Tonameca.
With reports from ORO Noticias