14/08/2008Fifteen years of conservation efforts for sea turtles at Xcaret

Cancun, Mexico (August 2008).- This summer, Xcaret opened the “15 years of Sea turtle Conservation, Xcaret 2008″ exhibit in the Park’s aquarium to acquaint the public with efforts to protect these sea creatures.

The exhibit highlights Xcaret Park’s sea turtle conservation efforts and research over the last fifteen years.

The sea turtle protection and conservation program was born in 1990 thanks to the hard work of the Quintana Roo Research Center (CIQROO), which transferred development and operation of the program to Xcaret three years later. This project includes graft tagging, ‘head start on life’ and beach patrol/protection programs, the latter operated for the past six years by the Flora, Fauna and Culture Foundation of Mexico [Fundación Flora, Fauna y Cultura de México, A.C.] a not-for-profit organization. In 1993, the first group of 247 turtles were received, protected for a period of twelve months, and then freed after graft tagging. Thirty of them remained at the Park in order to follow up on research in this innovative program which to date has freed more than 1,900 sea turtles brought from Xcacel beach.

Thanks to the hard work of Park employees, and just as they do every year, the Park has opened the fifteenth edition of its sea turtle conservation efforts entitled “15 years of Sea Turtles, Xcaret 1993-2008″. The exhibit is comprised of the replica of 112 sea turtle eggs magnified to 20 times their natural size. Displays are designed to teach children and adults alike about the life of sea turtles through videos on actions undertaken in the conservation program.

A defining characteristic of both the Park and this exhibit is the interaction it encourages between turtles and people, especially children, where they can learn more about how sea turtles are born, the texture and weight of a real shell that they can touch, and the fun of surprising their friends by jumping out of a giant turtle egg. The exhibit is always presented during the Quintana Roo sea turtle nesting season from May to October.

For the first time in fifteen years, we hope to see the first turtles tagged in the conservation program return during this 2008 nesting season to lay their eggs on the beach where they were born. Even though some of the 30 that remained at the Park have already laid eggs, the arrival of others that were freed will be an important source of data, allowing us to learn more about the marking technique used on the turtles and, at the same time, the first data on the survival rate of turtles thanks to the ‘head start on life’ program.

Thus, Xcaret Park opens the doors to the world of sea turtles, inviting domestic and foreign visitors alike to hatch along with them.

Iliana Rodríguez, PR Manager
(998) 849 59 59 ext. 7