Guidelines for watching Sea Turtles in Cancun
Watching a female sea turtle haul herself from the shore onto the beach in the middle of the night, work hard to prepare a nest, lay her eggs and after disguising it leave for the ocean is an absolutely amazing experience.
Watching nearly 2 months later the tiny hatchlings driven only by their instinct and stubbornness will scuttling towards the ocean and finally reaching the liberating sea is a truly magical moment.
Being fortunate enough to witness and enjoy these stunning and awesome moments, you will never forget, and having the opportunity to be part of one of nature’s wonders is a privilege that solely should benefit the sea turtles giving them a better chance of surviving.
Please don’t spoil the efforts of numerous volunteers working endlessly to protect the sea turtles here in Cancun with inconsiderate and endangering actions. When these beautiful ancient creatures come ashore or are on their way to the sea it’s not just another entertainment program during your vacation; no, then it’s time for us to step aside, yield them precedence and show respect.
Guidelines for watching Female Sea Turtles during Nesting
Female sea turtles are quite nervous when coming ashore. They are easily scared back to sea by any movement, noise or light on the beach. Therefore:
- Do not use flashlights at the beach or shine a light in the sea turtle's face! The light can cause the female to abort the nesting process and other sea turtles nearby may be discouraged from nesting.
- Do not take pictures using flash!
- Move slowly and keep the noise level down as sea turtles are very sensitive to movement and sounds.
- Keep your distance! Stay out of sight of the turtle at least until she begins laying eggs, otherwise you may scare her back into the sea.
- For your own safety, only approach from behind and stay away from the turtle's head. Sea turtles, especially Loggerheads, have very strong jaws and can harm you if provoked.
- Do not handle the eggs!
- Do not handle the sea turtle! You may injure the turtle or cause her to leave without finishing nesting.
- Show the necessary respect for these amazing ancient animals and be an example for others, especially children.
- Enjoy this amazing experience and remember it for the rest of your life!
Click here to view & download a printable PDF version of the nesting guidelines.
Guidelines for the Liberation of the Sea Turtle Hatchlings
Even though the way from the nest to the ocean is short, it’s the most hazardous time of a hatchlings life. Artificial lights on the beach distract the baby sea turtles; predators patrol the beach for a little sea turtle snack; beach furniture, sand castle and holes can be lethal traps for the tiny sea turtles; and watching bystanders can do more harm than good.
Therefore please follow a few simple rules when watching this magical moment to give as many hatchlings as possible a chance to reach the sea.
- Do not use flashlights at the beach or shine a light directly at the tiny hatchlings! Artificial lights confuse the baby sea turtles, and instead of running to the sea they run inland.
- Do not take pictures using flash!
- Move slowly and keep the noise level down as the hatchlings are very sensitive to movement and sounds.
- Stay out of the scuttling baby sea turtles path to avoid accidentally scrunching them.
- Show the necessary respect for these lovely, tiny creatures and be an example for others, especially children.
- Enjoy this magical moment!
Click here to view & download a printable PDF version of the liberation guidelines.