Turtle conservation is vital in the Mexican Caribbean as it welcomes four of the world’s sea turtle species: the green turtle, loggerhead, hawksbill and leatherback, and is a major nesting area for the green turtle. It is something that Royal Resorts participates in every year when its security guards begin their nightly patrols of the beaches in May on the look out for turtles coming ashore to lay their eggs. The summer of 2019 was a busy nesting season for the sea turtles at Royal Resorts with 927 nests at The Royal Sands, The Royal Caribbean and The Royal Islander and 96,400 baby turtles released. The number was more than quadruple that registered for 2018 and the majority were green turtles (Chelonia mydas), tortuga verde or tortuga blanca in Spanish.
Royal Resorts is a Cancun sea turtle conservation pioneer. It has been watching over the female turtles that come ashore at night to lay their eggs during the summer since 1985 when it opened its first resort on the open ocean side of Cancun Island. Official record keeping began in 1998 and to date Royal Resorts has protected 9,136 turtle nests and released 859,689 hatchlings.
2019 turtle season results in Cancun and other parts of the Quintana Roo coast
The coast of Quintana Roo is one of the world’s most important turtle nesting areas and the 2019 turtle season was a good one with Cancun, Cozumel, Akumal and other areas reporting large numbers of nests and baby turtles.
As a whole 11,654 nests were protected in 51 corrals at hotels along the Cancun shoreline (including those at Royal Resorts) and 1,150,474 baby turtles were released.
In Cozumel, 5,423 nests were protected and 337,497 baby turtles released at nesting sites on the island’s beaches.
Biologists, conservationists and hotel security staff watched over 2,606 turtle nests in the Puerto Morelos area during the 2019 nesting season and released more than 106,000 hatchlings.
In Akumal, which means the place of the turtles in Maya, 1,062 nests were protected on four beaches and there were more than 88,499 hatchlings.
The Quintana Roo Sea Turtle Protection Committee published the final tally of nests and hatchlings for the 2019 season, a total of 57,155 nests protected and 3,809,438 baby turtles released on different beaches along the Mexican Caribbean shoreline:
• Green turtle 51,790 nests and 3,468,001 hatchlings
• Loggerhead turtle 4,133 nests and 259,573 hatchlings
• Hawksbill turtle 1,231 nests and 81,864 hatchlings
• Leatherback turtle 1 nest
[Sources: Galu, Comité Estatal Quintana Roo para la Protección de la Tortuga Marina]