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The impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on the 2020 Sea Turtle Season
With the contingency caused by COVID-19, authorities, hoteliers and environmentalists of the Cancun-Puerto Morelos tourist corridor are preparing to attend the new sea turtle nesting season for 2020, but this year without a volunteer program.
The ecology director of the municipality of Benito Juárez, María Guadalupe Alcántara announced that this year there will be no volunteer programs as in previous years, but that the great advantage this season will be that sea turtles will arrive on the beaches calmly with the absence of bathers and tourists as all the beaches in Mexico have been closed for the public because of the situation with COVID-19.
As every year in May, the nesting season and the protection program begins. This year we have already seen early signs of sea turtles and we have documented two rare Leatherback turtles laying their eggs.
So at least nature is benefiting from the worldwide epidemic and the sea turtles will be able to lay their eggs with no disturbance and the need of human interference to relocate the eggs that might be otherwise damaged when left on the usually overcrowded beaches of Cancun and the Riviera Maya towards Tulum.
The ecology department has also announced that selected staff and the Tourist Police together with other governmental institutions will conduct patrols on the beaches. Help was also requested from the hotel sector and other associations that take part year after year in the protection program so there will be no neglect of the species because of the contingency. Even though the participation will only be a passive one.