Time to help the Turtles in Puerto Vallarta

One of the favorite parts of the summer season in Puerto Vallarta is participating in turtle release programs throughout Banderas Bay. It is currently nesting season for Olive Ridley turtles which return to our warm bay water and the soft sand coastline to lay eggs for their eagerly expected offspring.

While Olive Ridley turtles are a protected creature under law in Jalisco and Nayarit, that protection only extends to humans. However, turtles, particularly the tiny babies, are not protected from natural predators like crabs and seabirds that love to snack on the infant turtles as they break free of their eggs and make the long beach walk down to the ocean.

To lend these little guys a hand and give them some extra protection, there are several organizations that run turtle release programs that are open to the public. If you would like to help the turtles, here are a few things to keep in mind, to help ensure their safety.

· Mothers-to- be like to be left alone. If you should see a sea turtle on the beach, stay far back and offer plenty of undisturbed room. If you take a photo, make sure not to us a flash, because it can disorient the turtle and make it challenging to find her nest.

· Don’t touch the babies, unless working with a trained conservationist in a turtle release program. The oil from human hands can interfere with baby turtles and they are very delicate with food sacks that can be easily broken, which would be a severe hinderance for their survival. At a turtle release program, you will be taught how to property handle baby turtles.

· Plan for sunset. Although sunrise is also a good time to release baby turtles in Puerto Vallarta, most release programs happen at sunset, which is the best time of day to offer them protection from predators.

You can participate in turtle release programs at Campamento Tortuguero in Boca de Tomates, at the CasaMagna Marriott Resort in Marina Vallarta, or in Sayulita. For visitors or those that own a home in Puerto Vallarta, turtle release programs are always a feel-good, family-friendly activity and because of these programs, now almost 96% of hatchlings make their way safely to the sea.

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