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Conservation and Environment in Mexico: Monthly Updates

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Conservation in Mexico - Monthly Update May 2011

Crocodile

A surprise visitor at the camp

It doesn't happen very often, but a few weeks ago the PROFEPA (Federal agency for environmental protection) brought to camp an adult Olive Ridley specimen that had several injuries to its shell. It had been found lying on a northern beach barely moving so was brought to the camp to be kept under observation. Unfortunately after a few days with no signs of improvement the turtle sadly passed away. In the past we have had cases where, after a bit of rest and recuperation, we have successfully released injured turtles back into the sea. Unfortunately it wasn't the case for this Olive Ridley.

Turtle pool

In this particular case, the reason for the death could have been due to any number of things, but the most likely cause was due to carelessness by either a fisherman or a tourist in a recreational boat. There are, however, other factors that endanger the presence of the sea turtles in our oceans. Pollution of the seas and beaches destroys the sea turtles habitat and nesting areas; plastic articles, nets, ropes and chemical waste released into the ocean represent a massive threat to the turtle population. By ingesting this rubbish they suffer potentially fatal respiratory complications.

There must be a way in which we can co-exist with these incredible animals in which we don't represent such a major threat to their existence. Creating a consciousness in the mind of our children will eventually pay off by giving them a clear understanding of the reasons for protection and conservation of these habitats. Right now we have the opportunity to make a difference, so we need to do all we can to help raise awareness of the importance of protecting and preserving our environment.

Nesting at the Crocodile farm.

Measuring turtles

During the last couple of weeks we had the opportunity to take part in some very interesting and satisfying work at the Crocodile farm. As some of you might know, we keep a small breeding crocodile population in captivity, where they live in a series of pools. We have now reached a point where the female crocodiles need to lay their eggs. The Moreletti crocodile needs a certain amount of foliage and debris in order to be able to create their nesting area, and since they are in a confined area we had to provide them with the material they needed in order to be able to lay their eggs.

From a nearby irrigation channel we were able to collect the sand that would become the foundation for their nests. From the surrounding areas in the crocodile farm we collected foliage and branches, essential for the nest as it helps to keep heat and humidity in the eggs, ensuring the survival of the hatchlings. This involved a lot of hard work, but immediately after we brought the materials to their areas the female crocodiles started to build their nest, leaving us with the satisfaction of a job well done!

Oliver Garcia
Conservation Director
May 2011
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