The 2021 baby turtle release season in Puerto Peñasco wrapped up on November 27th, curiously on National Conservation Day, following the natural hatching and journey of 92 baby turtles into the Sea of Cortez. This came after the release of an additional 497 baby turtles, stemming from 614 eggs this year.
Biologist Humberto Gonzalez Veliz of the Federal Maratime Land Zone (ZOFEMAT) detailed incubation, hatching, and release of the baby Olive Ridley turtles (Lepidochelys olivácea) this year was very efficient following egg collection from six area nests. Of the initial 497 baby turtles in the area this year, 332 of these came from eggs that had been carefully removed from nests for incubation, while the others were from three nests that hatched naturally. The additional 92 baby turtles of Nov. 27th also came from a natural hatch site.
In 2021, González Veliz explained, nearly 10 turtle egg nests were detected along areas of Playa Encanto, Mi Playa, Las Conchas, Sonoran Spa, and Esmeralda. The removal of eggs from the nests to incubation, for their own protection, was done once again this year through coordinated efforts of the Federal Environmental Protection Agency (PROFEPA), local NGOs, federal, state, and municipal agencies, local security staff from area resorts, and the watchful eye and care of biologist Itzel Cárdenas of Grupo Vidanta.
González Veliz highlighted the ongoing arrival of the vulnerable Olive Ridley sea turtle to the area reaffirms the yearly turtle nesting season, which has graced our shores most notably in the past four years. He underscored the importance of keeping measures in place to respond to cases in the upcoming 2022 season, given the upward trend in nests.