Historical! The largest turtle in the world arrives in the Riviera Maya


For the first time in 36 years, the world’s largest sea turtle, the leatherback, nested in the Xcacel-Xcacelito Protected Natural Area (ANP), in the Mexican Caribbean.

In addition, from 1996 to 2022, 54,214 white turtle nests and 9,000 loggerhead nests have been recorded in said sanctuary.

Throughout history, only five nesting events of this type have been recorded in Quintana Roo. Leonel Gómez Nieto, head of the Flora, Fauna and Culture Operational Project of Mexico, explained that the leatherback is the largest sea turtle in the world; It reaches a length of 2.3 meters and a weight of more than 600 kilograms. It naturally lives in the Pacific Ocean.

“This sea turtle is the largest of all and its strong nesting area is in the Pacific, so, for us it is obviously a little strange, or let’s say like this, the big surprise that we have a nesting of this type in our programs ”, he alluded.

According to the International Convention for the Protection and Conservation of Sea Turtles, these specimens swim more than 15 thousand kilometers a year to nest. Females prefer beaches with a reduced continental shelf, easy access and free of rocks or abrasive corals, as well as coasts with strong currents and high waves.

The leatherback was classified as endangered throughout its distribution since 1970, due to hunting, introduction of foreign animals to its natural habitat and the reduction of its nesting area, due to the growing urban cover.

In the Xcacel-Xcacelito sea turtle sanctuary, around 200,000 hatchlings of different species are born every year. This time they had 90 percent success with the lute nest.

For the 2023 season, which began on May 1 and ended on June 16, a total of 928 sea turtle nests were recorded.

Of these, 270 correspond to the loggerhead species, while 658 belong to the white or green turtle. In addition, the nesting of a leatherback turtle was recorded for the first time in 36 years of conservation.

In Xcacel-Xcacelito, a total of 54,214 white or green turtle nests and 9,030 loggerhead turtle (Caretta caretta) nests have been recorded from 1996 to 2022. In addition, a total of 4 million 77 thousand have been released. 850 baby white or green turtles and 711,891 loggerheads in this space.

Source: Por Esto