The Riviera Maya is invested in nature and ecology! Residents and local organizations work hard every day to help protect the natural environment and amazing wildlife surrounding us. After all, conservation and care is contributes to preserving the beauty that we all love about the Riviera Maya.
One of the biggest efforts that takes place all throughout the Riviera Maya is the protection of the sea turtles. This past Monday Xcaret Park held its first sea turtle release of the season sending off the baby turtles to arrive into their natural habitat in the beautiful Caribbean Sea.
We were very excited to be a part of this event which takes place at different points throughout the year! These beautiful marine turtles are truly exceptional creatures!
Who came to witness the Sea turtle release at Xcaret?
There was an incredible turn out of attendance to witness or volunteer for the Xcaret Sea turtle release. Xcaret encourages locals and nearby Playa del Carmen neighborhoods to get involved, volunteer, and help support these efforts of conserving sea life.
The children from the “Ninos del Mar” school were invited to watch the release and also learn about how being eco-conscious, recycling and conservation help to save the life of the sea turtles and all their natural surroundings. Great lesson if you ask me! If you see firsthand how your actions make an impression you are much more likely to remain conscious of it now and in the future.
Some Facts about the Sea turtle release and conservation in the Riviera Maya
Xcaret released two sea turtle species which arrived from Xcacel beach to Xcaret! The two particular species, the green turtle and loggerhead turtle, are two of the four specials that arrive to Quintana Roo each year. There seven different species of sea turtles around the world and six of them make way to the coast of Mexico.
As part of the Marine Turtle Conservation Program in the Riviera Maya, turtles are rescued, rehabilitated and then released into their natural environment in the wide open sea.
The time of the release is carefully planned to take place in the late morning-mid day hours to make way for the turtles to have a safe return to the ocean. Since the biggest sea predator for the turtles are sharks the operation is done way before dawn before the sharks feed in the evening.
What happens to the Sea turtles after they are released from Xcaret?
Unfortunately, despite incredible efforts made to protect these wonderful beings, only one out of every 1000 sea turtles will reach adulthood. This is due to various reasons including sea predators or human interference.
But the good news is that these efforts do contribute to a beautiful life for the surviving turtles. Since the turtles are tagged at release, the Xcaret released Sea turtles have been identified all over the Caribbean in places like Miami, The Bahamas and Cuba. These amazing creatures make their way far beyond what we can imagine and live a beautiful life.
Interestingly enough the females which were released will find their way back home in 15 years when they are ready to nest. Pretty cool huh?
Saving the turtles is a combined community effort in the Riviera Maya
I would like to stress a major point about the Xcaret Sea turtle release program. This is a wide community effort. Xcaret asks the entire community to get involved and become an active part of saving the wildlife and preserving natural life in the Riviera Maya.
In 2012 Xcaret was the first private park ever to be featured in National Geographic Magazine for their efforts in protecting, caring for and releasing the sea turtles giving an even bigger visibility!
If you are living in Playa del Carmen or are thinking about moving to the Playa del Carmen neighborhood discover all the ways you can get involved. It truly doesn’t take much to save a life!
-By Bea Lozano