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Cozumel reports 40 percent increase in nesting sea turtles

Cozumel, Q.R. —  The Cozumel Parks and Museums Foundation has reported a 40 percent increase in nesting sea turtles for the 2021 season. The agency says they have finalized their count and found 1,120 nests in the Punta Sur Tortuguero Camp, which is an increase of 40 percent compared to the 2020 season when 857 nests were counted.

Rafael Chacón Díaz, director of Conservation and Environmental Education reported that this season, 1,020 nests of the Chelonia mydas species (white) and 182 of Caretta caretta (loggerhead) were marked, while in 2020, they counted 772 of white and 85, loggerhead.

Ricardo Peralta Muñoz, head of the Turtle Protection Program said that the count of 182 Caretta caretta nests is the highest in the last three years, since in 2019 they counted only 86 nests.

In 2020, he said the figure was 85 of the same species, attributing the lower number to the alternating reproductive process of the females. The new figures for the 2021 season have been recorded with the General Directorate of Wildlife, the Secretariat of Environment and Natural Resources (SEMARNAT) and the State Committee for the Protection and Management of the Sea Turtle.

The sea turtle nesting season for 2022 will begin in mid-May and run until the end of October. He said this year, more than 14,000 baby sea turtles were released with the help of volunteers.