Turtle nesting season is virtually over, with the last females coming ashore to lay their eggs on September 15 at The Royal Mayan and October 7 at The Royal Sands. Only 14 nests at The Royal Sands and four at The Royal Mayan have yet to hatch. As of October 16, the tally of sea turtle nests at Royal Resorts stands at 581 (200 at The Royal Sands and 381 at The Royal Caribbean),with 70,208 eggs. The eggs laid in August and early September have now hatched and members and guests have already helped staff release 59,809 baby turtles to begin life at sea.
Turtle nesting seasons tend to be cyclical with a good year followed by a lean year. Historically, odd number years have fewer turtle arrivals, but 2011 has proved to be an exception with an extraordinary number of turtles coming ashore on Cancun’s beaches.
Colleagues at The Royal Haciendas in the Riviera Maya also reported a turtle nest at The Royal Haciendas. This is extremely rare; while sea turtles are often spotted at nearby reefs, they seldom come ashore to nest on this particular stretch of beach.
Green turtles or tortuga verde or blanca account for the majority of the nests with a few loggerheads or caguamas and hawksbills or tortuga carey at the beginning of the season. The Mexican Caribbean is one of the important nesting areas in the world for the green turtle and the smaller hawksbill turtle favors the beaches of Contoy, Holbox and the Gulf of Mexico coast in neighboring Yucatan.
Sadly, all of the world’s eight species of sea turtle are endangered and here in Mexico, where seven of them are found, they are protected by law. It is a federal offense to persecute and hunt sea turtles, steal their eggs, or consume turtle products.
Royal Resorts is proud to be part of the global sea turtle conservation campaign and to join forces with local biologists, hotel employees, volunteers and military personnel who patrol the beaches of the Mexican Caribbean each summer, watching over our visitors from the sea and protecting them from harm. Collectively, The Royal Sands, The Royal Mayan, The Royal Caribbean and The Royal Islander account for 20 percent of all the turtles protected in Cancun and the company has been engaged in this important and immensely rewarding annual crusade since 1985.
We know that Royal Resorts members have a special place in their hearts for these beautiful and ancient creatures and anxiously await our regular nesting season updates. Many of our summer guests have been lucky enough to help release the baby turtles and have felt the energy coursing through their tiny bodies as they begin their dash towards the waves. Others have witnessed the females coming ashore at night to dig their nests in the sand and lay their eggs, a truly incredible experience.
One Turtle Tale
We thank all the members of the Royal Resorts Family who have written to Royal Resorts News over the years to tell us about their turtle experiences and would like to share one story we received.
Natalie M. and her husband recently stayed at The Royal Mayan and saw three turtles nesting on the beach and then helped release hatchlings later in the week. She says, “I have been staying at The Royal Mayan since I was a little girl, (it’s like home to me) and I have never in my life seen so many turtles! It was so incredible to be near them… I am so glad and proud of this enormous movement to protect such an amazing creature… Thanks for everything you do!”
Share your Vacation Stories Here
Do you have a magical vacation moment you would like to share, an incredible holiday experience or a place in the Mexican Caribbean or Yucatan you would like to tell us and other readers about? Please drop us a line and tell us your vacation stories. We will publish a selection of the ones we receive on this blog.