Local News & Events

Puerto Vallarta • Riviera Nayarit 

Rescued Hawksbill Turtle Returned to the Sea

CVB of Riviera Nayarit
August 7, 2012

The Hawksbill sea turtle that was found last May with a hook in her throat recovered completely and was reinserted to her natural habitat on July 22, 2012, in Riviera Nayarit.

The endangered hawksbill was appropriate named "Jaltemba" because she was rescued off Jaltemba Bay by Red Tortuguera A.C.

Jaltemba underwent a complicated surgery to remove the hook, recovered well and gained weight, so specialists decided that she could be reinserted to its habitat. The turtle was released at the beach in Rincon de Guayabitos, close to the location where it was rescued.

"It has been very important to rescue and reintegrate Jaltemba to its habitat, not only because the hawksbill sea turtle is the most endangered species among the turtles that come to our region, but also because this case has had a great impact on society and the media, and this helped us raise public awareness about the importance preserving this species," said Vicente Peña, field technician of Red Tortuguera A.C.

In fact, Jaltemba was released with a satellite tracking chip that will reveal more about its location and habits, something essential to learn more about hawksbill turtles, in order to create strategies for its preservation.

Olive Ridley turtles are the common visitors to Riviera Nayarit. There are preservation efforts along the coast from all sectors of society, which have been generating results, and the number of nests has increased significantly.

However, Hawksbill turtles like Jaltemba are not common, and therefore the especial importance of this rescue.

According to Eastern Pacific Hawksbill Initiative (ICAPO), the protection of the Hawksbill turtle in the Pacific is one of the conservation issues that have become a priority, because this is one of the most endangered species in the region: it's estimated that only a couple hundred turtles nest along the entire coast.

This low level of nests indicates that there is very little likelihood that the species will survive we don't carry out coordinated actions for their preservation. Protecting their eggs, Oficina de Visitantes y Convenciones (Convention & Visitors Bureau) is involved in fostering hatching, generating biological information on the species and protecting marine habitats are part of our strategy.

Vicente Peña reported that this year there have been 20 registered nests in Punta Mita. Even though the nesting season is just beginning, there are two additional new nests whose characteristics suggest that they're probably hawksbill nests.

These numbers are encouraging if we consider that in all of 2011 there were only 4 nests, and there were none in 2010, according to Tortuguera Red AC. The organization also said that Punta Mita is one of only two nesting grounds for Hawksbill turtles in the entire Mexican Pacific.

The Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB) of Riviera Nayarit wishes to thank and congratulates Vicente Peña and the entire team of Red Tortuguera AC, as well as Catherine E. Hart for coordinating the rescue efforts of Jaltemba. We also thank Alan Zavala, who arranged to receive Jaltemba diligently in the research center, and Paula Claussell, Jesus
Pineda, Roy Quintero, Irving Gonzalez and Alonso Aguirre, and all the staff and students of
CIIDIR, who offered their time and efforts to save this turtle.

Jaltemba has finally made her way back into the Bahia de Jaltemba. Buena suerte Jaltemba!

(Photo courtesy of Catherine E. Hart of Red Tortuguera A.C. and Vida Silvestre Wildlife-Sinaloa CIIDIR-IPN)

  Learn more about Ecological Group of Costa Verde

  Learn more about Fideicomiso Estero el Salado

  Learn more about Nuestra Tierra Turtle Conservation Program

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