Successful Sea Turtle Conservation Program in Xcaret, Mexico


Xcaret, Quintana Roo; México--The Sea Turtle Conservation Program in Quintana Roo it´s in its 3rd decade since its launch which aimed to protect this endangered species. It is estimated that for every thousand sea turtle hatchlings, only one will become adult. Gradually the figures are changing. The results obtained so far reveal that efforts are generating good results: From 1996-2012, 88,190 sea turtle nests have been successfully sheltered and protected from predators. In the same period, 6,199,208 sea turtle hatchlings were released: 125 leatherback, 814 hawksbills, 1,723,103 loggerhead, and 4,475,166 green turtle hatchlings. 
A second phase of the Sea Turtle Conservation Program is the autograft program. The autograft was conceived as a way to mark the hatchlings shortly after birth for identification on their return to the beach to breed. From 2004 to 2012, 57 adult turtles with the autograft brand have been seen return to the beach where they were born to lay their eggs. The age of these adult turtles varies between 13 and 22 years.
This year, turtle caregivers expect the return of turtle with metal brand J3630, the first of the autograft program that return at age 13. Since 2004, turtle J3630 returned to the same beach 22 times to place 19 nests and give birth to 427,000 hatchlings. A sea turtle’s arrival to the beach in breeding season happens on average every two years.
The program operates under the responsibility of Flora, Fauna and Culture of Mexico, Civil Association, social arm of Experiencias Xcaret, which relies on private donations and contributions from the general public as well as facilities that provide municipal, state and federal to fund the program.
Parallel to this effort, Xcaret developed a program to ensure sea turtles exceed the critical stage of the first 15 months. Of the nests that are protected every year as part of the Conservation Program, an average of 200 copies remain in Xcaret to be fed and cared for until they are in the best position to survive in marine life. The sea turtles are then released at sea, where their chances of surviving at sea are much higher.
This year, the season begins on February 11, 2013 with the release of 15 month old turtles in Xcaret Park. The eco-park in the Riviera Maya invites student groups as well as park visitors to participate in the release of these species. The activity forms part of an intensive awareness campaign on the importance of caring for these endangered species. The release season ends in late March.
Xcaret also has a specialized health care unit for turtles that for over many years has given exemplary attention to problems of dehydration, injuries caused by attacks from animals or humans. The sea turtle hospital has developed special techniques such as treating serious injuries through the use of honey, which is a very effective natural antiseptic.
For more information: 
Iliana Rodríguez 
Chief Communications Officer 
Cel: 044 (998) 8 45 56 44 __title__ ]
For more info, contact:
Iliana Rodríguez
Chief Communications Officer

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