Things to do in Cancun: Turtle Nesting Season

Turtle Release in Cancun

Looking for things to do in Cancun this summer? What about giving something back to the environment? If you happen to be in Cancun during this time of the year be ready to spot some turtles. Some might be laying eggs on the beach or hatching out of the egg. Learn all about things to do in Cancun: Turtle Nesting Season, and be part of this natural spectacle. Help take care of turtle nests and release baby sea turtles to the ocean.

When is the turtle nesting season in Cancun?

 Lucky you, Turtle Nesting Season commenced this May and will end in September. As a natural process involving an endangered species, there’s always we can do to help the conservation and preservation of the turtles and their natural habitat. 

In the daytime, you’ll be able to spot nesting spots where turtles have laid their eggs. The hotels have a social and environmental responsibility to notify the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources (SEMARNAT) when they see a turtle nest. These nests get protected with a net and marked with signs. 

Normally, a full moon guides the turtles to the shore so they can lay their eggs. This is something you’ll be able to witness if you go to the beach around 11 pm or 12 am and patiently wait. 

Mexico hosts 7 of the 8 species of sea turtles that exist in the world. All of them are protected by the SEMARNAT, the institution in charge of environmental protection as well as sustainable development in the country. 

Thanks to the hotels and peoples’ support and volunteering, thousands of eggs of species such as white turtles, loggerhead turtles, hawksbill turtles, and leatherback turtles are collected in Cancun. 

Caring for the nests

The area where the eggs are placed to be protected is usually away from beds, volleyball nets, jet skis, or any potential risk. Professional personnel is always around to keep track of dates and other changes they might experience. It is very important to maintain the best environment for the eggs since temperature plays a very important role. If the sand is above 33°/34°C (91°/93° F)or below 26°C (78.8° F) the embryos will die. 

Caring for the nests and releasing the turtles helps greatly to preserve these endangered species. According to SEMARNAT, only 2% of turtles born survive in the ocean, so every little help is useful in caring for the sea turtles.

You can ask your hotel for more information on how to help out and volunteer.

Releasing the turtles

As mentioned, the sea turtle nesting season begins in May and ends in September. The incubation period lasts up to 6 to 8 weeks, so from July to November is the period of hatching and release of turtles. 

Many beachfront properties have volunteers who are dedicated to the collection, monitoring, and release of sea turtles. Once the adult sea turtles return to the sea, the eggs are placed in an isolated nest. This is how they get protected from birds, iguanas, and other predators. Those responsible for the turtle nesting program are in charge of collecting the eggs and marking them. They put up signs indicating the number of eggs per nest, species, date of collection, and possible hatching date. Once hatched they will begin their journey. As a volunteer, the job when releasing the turtles is to keep them safe from birds, and other animals.

Being part of this unique natural process will make your vacation in Cancun unforgettable.

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