Green Sea Turtles
The 60km of beach in the Rio Lagartos Bio-Reserve is one
of the three most important
nesting sites for Hawksbill
and Green Sea Turtles worldwide.
The turtle photographs(unless noted)
are by Santiago Manzanilla Castro,a field biologist,who was working for CONANP,and has studied turtles in the Rio Lagartos Reserve and on Arreceife
Alacranes for 3 years.
Santiago was responsible for a 22 km section of beach during the nesting season that begins in mid April and continues into
November.The number of nests along this stretch of
beach can vary from 800-1500 depending on the number of returning turtles.
Nightly from 9.00 til early morning,the work involves
recording the arrival of the turtles,tagging
recording the location of new nests,egg counts
and after about 2
months a count of hatchlings.
The females will lay from 80 to 150 eggs on average(with
a maximum of 250 recorded)in nests dug about 1 meter
deep in the sand and then covered and mounded with
sand.The optimum hatch is nearly 90% with all conditions
perfect.Interestingly, the sex of the hatchings is determined by the
temperature conditions of the
season.The warmer the season the
greater % of females.
The average Green turtle measures
1.15m and weighs 100kg ,the largest measure about 1.5m and weigh 200kg
The average Hawksbill is 90cm and weighs 70kg.The largest measure 1.15 and weigh 100kg.
Loggerheads and Leatherback turtles (up to 2m) are occasional visitors.