The season has arrived! The pristine beach strip in front of Pueblo Bonito Pacifica and Sunset Beach Resorts in Los Cabos is gearing up to host its 20th annual sea turtle sanctuary.
Back in 2003, Pueblo Bonito Resorts launched the sea turtle protection initiative. They were trailblazers in the Cabo hospitality sector, establishing measures to protect turtle nests from threats. The program’s essence is to help turtle hatchlings make it back to the ocean, amplifying the survival chances of this endangered species, crucial to the local ecosystem.
Pueblo Bonito Golf & Spa Resorts, in collaboration with Quivira Los Cabos, have championed the turtle protection and release program. This resort community is committed to enlightening both residents and visitors about conservation, specifically about releasing hatchlings from safeguarded nests.
Carlos Villalobos, who helms the resort community’s Sea Turtle Protection Program, began as a security officer at Sunset Beach in 2003. In 2008, he journeyed to Costa Rica to assist the Green Turtle Program of the Caribbean Conservation Corporation (CCC), a renowned research entity.
“Over these two decades, we’ve protected around 16,000 nests, releasing over a million baby turtles into the ocean,” shared Villalobos.
From a humble 83 nests protected in 2003, they now shield over 2,000 nests each season. Villalobos proudly remarks, “The program has borne fruit, especially with the olive ridley turtle population showing promising recovery.”
Soon, adult female turtles will finalize their yearly migration to the Baja peninsula’s tip, nesting and laying their eggs. After recording nest locations, they’re protected until the hatchlings emerge, with barriers in place to shield them from threats.
Eggs laid now will likely hatch come December, according to Villalobos. Los Cabos also welcomes the black and leatherback turtles, the latter being massive, measuring seven feet and weighing over 2,000 pounds.
By year’s end, thousands of tiny turtle hatchlings will make their daring dash to the ocean. Their vulnerability makes them prime targets for predators, so aiding their journey is paramount.
Villalobos emphasized the integral role of turtles in marine and coastal ecosystems, noting their significance in maintaining the health of the resorts’ coastlines.
He further illustrated that turtles sustain both beach and marine ecosystems. A decline in turtle numbers would adversely affect both these environments in Los Cabos. Without turtles, the dune vegetation would be deprived of essential nutrients, leading to weakened dunes and beach erosion, detrimental to tourism.
This season, visitors to Los Cabos can experience the magic at Pueblo Bonito resorts. They offer the chance to join the conservation team, escorting hatchlings to the shallow waters, boosting their survival odds.
The exact hatching time remains unpredictable, so there’s no fixed release schedule. However, when hatching starts, the ecological program director informs the resorts. Enthusiasts can then participate in the release, which occurs during sunset. Witnessing the hatchlings journey towards freedom on the resort beaches is a heartwarming experience, a genuine act of aiding nature and preserving vital ecosystems.