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Royal Resorts Sea Turtle Protection Program – Photo by Natalia Martinez

Here’s the latest turtle season news from Royal Resorts. As of September 30, 2012, the tally of turtle nests in the protected enclosures at The Royal Sands, The Royal Mayan, The Royal Caribbean and The Royal Islander stood at 647, with 74,644 eggs! The number of female turtles coming ashore to lay their eggs in the sand dwindled as September progressed, although we had two very late arrivals on September 30 at The Royal Sands! It is now unlikely that there will be any more nests this year. Looking back, the 2012 season has been even more extraordinary than 2011 when records were broken with 581 nests.

On average, turtles lay between 60 and 100 eggs per nest and they may come ashore several times in a season. One of this year’s turtle visitors

laid a staggering 249 eggs, surely a record!

The eggs are now hatching in greater numbers as the days pass and resort guests have been busy helping staff set the hatchlings free. To date, around 38,578 baby turtles have already been released to begin life in the ocean. Thousands more turtles are expected to hatch in the weeks to come. In 2011, a record-breaking 61,499 baby turtles were released at the Royal Resorts, we hope that 2012 will be even better.

Royal Resorts Staff and Guests helping Sea Turtles at The Royal Sands, Cancun

Royal Resorts Staff and Guests helping Sea Turtles at The Royal Sands, Cancun

The majority of the turtles that come ashore on Cancun’s beaches are green turtles (tortuga verde or blanca); this is not the case on Riviera Maya nesting beaches further south where loggerhead (caguama) and hawksbill (carey) turtles also lay their eggs. The beaches along the Gulf coast of the Yucatan from Holbox to Rio Lagartos also constitute an extremely important nesting area for the hawksbill turtle. On September 2, a rare hawksbill turtle came ashore at The Royal Mayan to lay its eggs.

In August, a beach in Tulum received a very special and seldom seen visitor, a gigantic leatherback (tortuga laud) turtle. The largest of the world’s turtles, and the species in most danger, the leatherback nests further south, on the Caribbean and Pacific beaches of Costa Rica and the island of Trinidad.

Stay posted for more turtle updates from Royal Resorts during the summer and fall and if you are on vacation in the Mexican Caribbean and you see a nesting turtle, remember the turtle rules. Keep your distance, be quiet and do not touch her. Please refrain from shining a torch in her direction or using your camera flash. If you participate in a turtle release, handle the baby turtles as little as possible and do so with care. Follow the instructions you are given by security staff and do not use your photo flash.

Sea Turtle Babies at The Royal Sands, Cancun

Help Royal Resorts conserve the sea turtle.

Sea Turtles hatching at The Royal Sands, Cancun