(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.
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 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
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.
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.
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
La Fundacion Ecologica Tortuga Negra
A.C. De La Costa Sur De Jalisco
Sergio Sanchez Garcia
Alejandro Lazareno Jesus
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,
UNIVERSITY OF GUADALAJARA
Programa de Conservación de
Depto de Estudios para el Desarrollo
Sustentable de Zonas Costeras
Avenida Gómez Farias No.82, San Patricio-Melaque,
M.C. Antonio Trejo Robles