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TURTLES  (San Patricio - Melaque, Jalisco, México)

GORFINO TURTLES  (Tortugas)

La Fundacion Ecologica Tortuga Negra A.C. (Turtle Preservation Society) operates through the mayors office in Melaque and with the Municipality of Cihuatlán.

DISPATCH CENTER

TURTLE CONTROL OFFICE

Each year between July and January, volunteers regularly patrol remote Beaches with all terrain vehicles looking for turtle tracks.  When tracks are found a radio call is made to this control office, where a dig operation is organized by an armada of regular volunteers.  The eggs are brought to a security controlled fenced area where they are quickly replanted in the sand.

TURTLE EGGS

Director giving informative talk about turtle eggs

The eggs are incubated in the warm sand at controlled holding areas for 45 to 60 days.  These areas are kept secret from the general public.  Unfortunately turtle eggs are considered a delicacy and an aphrodisiac.  Turtles are harvested illegally for their shells, meat and oil, which are sold on the black market.  Please do not support this activity by buying suntan oil made from tortugas.

HATCHING

Turtle containment pool

After hatching and climbing out of the sand, the baby turtles (Cacuamas) are collected and placed in a safe pool of water, while waiting for their comrades to hatch.  When all have hatched, a beach launch is immediately organized.  Batches of 60 to 100 turtles are routinely set free.

LAUNCH START

Launching turtles in the night

The cacuamas are released down the beach at night to prevent bird predators from devouring them.  This increases their survival rate by about 15%.  The turtles must walk down the sand to pick up the scent of the beach so they can find their way back home, similar to migrating salmon.  They swim continuous for days without eating, feeding only on their yolk sac which is still attached.

LAUNCH FINISH

Turtles away!

Decades later, adult turtles return to with-in 50km of their release locations.  Gorfino turtle eggs are the most abundant, but occasionally Leatherback eggs are found.  Leatherbacks are on the endangered species list.

CONTACT

La Fundacion Ecologica Tortuga Negra A.C. De La Costa Sur De Jalisco

Presidente: Sergio Sanchez Garcia
Secretario: Alejandro Lazareno Jesus
Tesorero: Jesus Perez.

The Turtle Protection Society can be contacted for donations, volunteers, or to make arrangements to take part in a future turtle release.  Donations are needed now!
Contact Numbers: (315).355.6948, (315).355.6983, or  (315).355.6348

UNIVERSITY OF GUADALAJARA  (Melaque out-station)

Programa de Conservación de Tortugas Marinas

Information: Depto de Estudios para el Desarrollo Sustentable de Zonas Costeras
Avenida Gómez Farias No.82, San Patricio-Melaque, (315).355.6330, (315).355.6331

Contact: M.C. Antonio Trejo Robles    E-Mail    WebSite

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