A young hawksbill sea turtle (Eretmochelys imbricata), rarely seen in this part of the Gulf of California, was rescued after beaching in the area of Playa Hermosa in Puerto Peñasco this week.
The endangered hawksbill specimen, detailed biologist Humberto González Veliz of the Federal Maritime Land Zone (ZOFEMAT), had been tossed up on shore following swells brought on by cold front no. 31. The turtle’s rescue was made possible following a citizen’s report on the sighting. Responders tended to the turtle and then transferred it to the Intercultural Center for the Study of Deserts and Oceans (CEDO) for evaluation.
González Veliz detailed the hawksbill sea turtle, which is about eight years old and measures 33 centimeters in length and 22 centimeters wide, appeared to be healthy and may be ready to return to the sea shortly.
The ZOFEMAT biologist indicated it is more common to come across Olive Ridley and Green Sea turtles in this part of the Sea of Cortez. Hawksbill sea turtles are most commonly found closer to Guaymas, and further into the southeastern Pacific Ocean. They are not sure how this hawksbill strayed beyond its regular habitat.
González Valiz expressed appreciation to the community for reporting on sightings of wildlife and sea life that seem injured or in problems, as this has allowed appropriate agencies to perform timely rescues while caring for the greater environment and species of flora and fauna. He also urged residents and visitors alike to continue to care for our coastlines by removing all trash from along area beaches.
To report sightings of injured wildlife/sealife, please contact 911 as calls are then channeled appropriately (bilingual).