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  • MOON PALACE CANCÚN
  • MOON PALACE CANCÚN - NIZUC
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4 THINGS YOU NEVER KNEW ABOUT SAVING ENDANGERED SEA TURTLES IN CANCUN

September, 2019

With only 1 in every 1000 babies surviving to adulthood, efforts to save endangered sea turtles in Cancun are not just heart-warming, they are vital. Like many tourists, four different species of turtle like to come back to their favorite spots on the beaches of the Mexican Caribbean year after year, and in the face of a real threat of extinction, they really appreciate a helping hand!

Although predominantly associated with a number of luxury all-inclusive resorts in Cancun, Palace Resorts, through its Environmental Committee of the Palace Resorts Foundation®, has collaborated with official sponsor, Fomento Ecológico Banamex, for 14 years, by establishing the Sea Turtle Conservation Program, adding to initiatives made by the private sector in this part of Mexico to protect species in danger of extinction. This means that a number of guests at certain properties get the chance to be up close and personal with hatchlings, one of the loveliest things to do in Cancun.

So, how hard is it for these little guys to actually make it to the day of the release? Here are 4 things to keep in mind as you say bon voyage to a recently-hatched baby sea turtle.

Participants and spectators alike utter a resounding “awwww” as they watch the miniature creatures waddle clumsily towards the water.

Baby sea turtle release in Cancun

So, how hard is it for these little guys to actually make it to the day of the release? Here are 4 things to keep in mind as you say bon voyage to a recently-hatched baby sea turtle.

1. Raccoons not welcome when it comes to saving the little sea turtles

Predators will look for any way possible to get to these precious eggs so, prior to sea turtle nesting season, a large wire mesh cage is set up around the camp where nests will be protected. Once nesting activity begins in Cancun, holes are dug out to recreate the length and depth of the original nests, ready to keep the protected eggs cozy.

2. Identifying and marking the nesting sites of sea turtles

Scouring the 9km+ stretch of beach (around Moon Palace Cancun) is no easy feat at night. Markers with fluorescent numbers are placed at frequent intervals so that any nesting activity can be quickly located again by patrols searching for tracks leading up from the water, curiously resembling those of tractor tires. These can lead them to a turtle in the process of digging her nest or laying her eggs, or signs of an already completed nest.

3. Protecting, measuring & collecting sea turtles’ eggs

Just like the rest of us, turtles need their personal space! Any disturbance could send them off in a huff, hence the importance of avoiding flashing lights or getting too close. In order to keep record of repeat visits, once the eggs have been deposited, biologists lovingly measure these animals in danger of extinction and take a top-of-the-head shot for the photo identification program. No two sets of scales on a turtle’s head are the same, making them essentially their “fingerprint”. Eggs are carefully transported to camp with a mound of sand that ‘mommy’ turtle moistened with a protective liquid while laying them.

4. Many happy returns!

Approximately 57 days later, all the hatchlings in a nest break through their shells at the same time and start to make it all 60 cm up towards the surface of the nest, chilling out between short bursts of energy. Fortunately for guests, the largest numbers of baby sea turtles hatch during the peak season for family vacations in Cancun.

Collection and protection of sea turtle eggs

Time to say farewell to the beautiful baby sea turtles

It’s no surprise that the program attracts repeat guests. Participants and spectators alike utter a resounding “awwww” as they watch the miniature creatures waddle clumsily towards the water. As their tiny flippers touch the water for the first time, gentle words of encouragement accompany them onto their first ever wave. The rest is up to them.
  
As an indicator of the impact of ecotourism in Cancun, since this program started, more than 14 years ago, over 1.7 million baby sea turtles have been released and more than 18,500 individual nests have been protected from harm. 

In a nutshell (or seashell!), if you do get the opportunity to witness a baby sea turtle release in Cancun, be sure to consider yourself one of the privileged ones.

Click here for information to bear in mind when attending a sea turtle release at Palace Resorts.

Melanie P
Melanie P

Best resort and customer service!

Everything about this resort was perfect. The customer service is out of this world. I would like to thank Vanessa (hostess) and Raul Yepez (server). However, my family and I loved Agustin Escalante. He always remembered us and treated us so nicely.

Breakroom76
Breakroom76
Combined Locks, Wisconsin

The largest and the best!

Being a member a couple of times over has allowed me to stay at some fantastic locations. The Moom Palace, Cancun is my favorite. The immense diversity of restaurants and hangouts for cold beverages keep the resort from feeling like more of the same.

Kirsty R
Kirsty R

Amazing!!

We stayed during June and from the minute we arrived we were treated as special guests. Nothing was too much trouble, the staff were very attentive ensuring we were having a lovely time. The hotel is stunning, everything you can possibly need and the many restaurants offering wonderful food.

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