Friday, December 27, 2013

Sea turtles hatching every day

During our recent sojourn in Cabo San Lucas, BCS, Mexico, we saw baby sea turtles hatch almost every day! In our past five visits we have seen two mass hatches and the march to the sea. LINK But this trip surpassed all five previous ones.

On our first morning's sunrise walk we saw a group of people standing on the upper beach at the Solmar Beach Resort - the original Solmar resort. Sure enough a nest of eggs had hatched. A typical nest contains 85 to 110 eggs. They usually hatch just before sunrise. Resort employees (security employees are trained to watch for and handle the turtle hachings) gathered the hatchling turtles and stored them for release late. They choose a time when airborne predators are least likely to attack - sunrise or sunset. So we returned at sunset for the release. But, unfortunately the resort policy changed. In past years we were allowed to each take one turtle and launch him/her. Each one had a name! But this year they put up yellow police tape and wouldn't let us be involved.

The next day we saw a mass hatch at Playa Grande a couple hundred yards down the beach. Both these resorts face the Pacific Ocean; most Los Cabos resorts - both Cabo San Lucas and San Jose del Cabo - face the Sea of Cortez.

Another day there was no mass hatch, but we saw wandering tracks on the beach. Speaking to a woman nearby she said she had picked up five wandering babies and launched them in the sea. LOOKING FOR A PHOTO

The fourth of our first five days there we again saw wandering tracks. This time a resort employee was there. He looked around, then where the tracks were densest he put on gloves (¿Porque tienes guantes?) He dug in the sand and about 8 inches down found a turtle. It didn't move at first, but then he did. Hatches in unknown spots usually don't happen because when the mothers lay the eggs the resort marks where they are. And usually they move them to a common area to avoid disturbance.

One year we saw an adult sea turtle cross the very wide beach to the buildings. But we didn't check to see if it was a mother laying eggs; probably was.

Photos: My photos. First two are 2011 at Solmar Beach Resort, Cabo San Lucas, BCS, Mexico. The rest are at Playa Grande in 2013. Adult is Playa Grande in 2010.

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