Turtle season is back!
Year after year thousands of female turtles of varying species: Olive Ridley, the Green Turtle, Hawksbill Turtle and the Loggerhead migrate for their summer beach vacation from oceans up to thousands-of miles away to Punta de Mita and neighboring shores to lay their eggs. Using their flippers to dig a nest, the female lays up to 120 eggs, which hatch between 45 and 55 days later. And area residents and visitors get to witness this Mother Nature miracle.
Sad news is that only about one in a 1,000 baby turtles survives to maturity, but due to the Banderas Bay Turtle Protection Program now in it´s 30th year the numbers are improving. And many of the of the female sea turtles will return to the beach where they were born to lay their eggs!
Another interesting fact on who’s hot and who’s not in Punta Mita: If the average temperature of the sand during the 3rd week of incubation is 86 degrees Fahrenheit, half the hatchlings will be female and half will be male. If the temperature rises 2 or more degrees during this period, all the baby tortuguitas will be females. If it falls 2 or more degrees, all the babies will be males.
Around October and November, when turtles are about to hatch, approximately one million hatchlings are released every season in the 13 different turtle camps located all along the Riviera Nayarit, and Profepa and other non profit organizations, give the opportunity to whoever wants to volunteer and help in the release of the newest baby turtles. Stay tune for the opportunity to join in these activities later in the year!
*Special thanks to Punta Mita Expeditions for letting us use one of their pictures for our article. The image was taken during one of their signature expeditions, they are a great source to admire sea turtles in their natural habitat.