Akumal loses turtle nests

December 21st, 2005 by Steve Bridger filed under Akumal, Sustainable tourism

‘Akumal’ on the Riviera Maya means "Place of the Turtles" and is so named because it is an important turtle nesting area.

Once accessible only by boat from Cozumel before a road was built linking Cancún to Tulum (Hwy 307) in the early 1970s, this coconut plantation transformed into a diver’s paradise for those lucky enough to be privy to its existence.

In its latest newsletter, the project director of the Centro Ecológico Akumal, Paul Sánchez-Navarro, reflects on the how hurricanes Emily and Wilma have affected this season’s  turtle breeding.

"This past summer was expected to be a strong season for turtles, both loggerhead and green, along the Mexican Caribbean and strong it was," he writes. But the storm surge that pounded the beaches destroyed turtle nests.

Paul adds: "Akumal’s beaches lost almost two-thirds of the nests that were laid before Emily hit in July, but the next day mothers were again arriving to lay eggs. There were nests hatching in September and October, until Hurricane Wilma began thrashing the beaches. After two hurricanes, it was difficult to keep track of the numbers of nests and hatchlings, especially as we lost all the stakes marking the remaining nests."

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