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Ava and Janna's Sea Turtle Adventure

Volunteering for Tortugueros Las Playaitas-- a sea turtle conservation organization in Baja California, Mexico.
by

Ava Toomey-Cordeiro

on 4 March 2014

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Transcript of Ava and Janna's Sea Turtle Adventure

Sea Turtle Conservation Volunteering
The baby sea turtles made everyone smile and were fun to watch! The turtle nests are relocated by the program directors and volunteers because the sand is too cold in the winter to incubate the eggs. If they didn't do this all the turtle eggs laid on the beach after October would die.
The End
We are so grateful to have had this opportunity to work with Tortugueros Las Playitas A.C. and will remember this week forever!

xox Love, Ava and Janna
Ava and Janna's Sea Turtle Adventure
During the last week of Feb 2014, we went to Todos Santos in Baja California, Mexico to volunteer with Tortugueros Las Playitas A.C. -- a sea turtle conservation organization
Every day, we spent hours at the greenhouse, checking the nests of the Olive Ridley turtles, taking out the emerging babies, and talking to people on the beach who were curious about what we were doing. We learned a lot about the endangered sea turtles and had a great time meeting people from all over the world. Another volunteer, Chelsea, trained us the first day.
To learn more about sea turtles, go to
http://seaturtles.org/article.php?list=type&type=4
Olive Ridley turtles are endangered and protected in Mexcio. The mamas return to the same beach they were born on to lay their eggs. It takes 45-60 days for the babies to emerge. Development in their habitats, natural predators like coyotes, plastic bags in the ocean, fishing practices, and human poachers threaten the future of these ancient creatures. Conservation efforts like these are critical to their survival.
To learn more about Tortugueros Las Playitas, go to http://www.todostortugueros.org
We also learned that the sea turtles' sex is determined by the temperature during the last 2/3's of the incubation period. If the average temp. is 26° -28° the nest will be predominately male. Temps of. 30°-32° produce predominately female hatchlings, and 29° will produce a 50:50 gender ratio. This greenhouse was designed to keep the eggs at the right temperature to produce a 50:50 ratio, they keep track, and they have been doing a great job! Every year the number of nests are increasing, and the hatchling rate is about 70-80%!
We had a wonderful surprise on our last day! A critically endangered giant Leatherback Sea Turtle laid her eggs on the beach in the middle of the night. We woke up at 5am to witness the relocation of her nest to a safe place in the greenhouse. Hermán found the eggs on a night patrol on the ATV. Francesca replanted them in the greenhouse. It was exciting for everyone! This was the first Leatherback nest of the year!
We worked hard all week but we also took some time to enjoy the beach! The last two days we took a few hours off of taking care of turtles to swim at the Hacienda on the point and play at Cerritos Beach!
Every night at sunset the volunteers, neighbors and visitors would gather to release the baby turtles on their journey. We waited until sunset to protect them from the birds and other predators. We cheered them on and hoped for the best! It was always a little sad to see them go but exciting too!
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