The Riviera Nayarit is a Sea Turtle Sanctuary with turtle camps located in Nuevo Vallarta, Carreyeros, Sayulita, San Pancho, Lo de Marcos, Punta Raza, El Naranjo, Boca de Chila, Platanitos, San Blas, Los Corchos, El Sesteo and La Puntilla Banderas Bay along the coast that stretches from Banderas Bay to Tecuala passing through Compostela, San Blas and Santiago Ixcuintla.
The Riviera Nayarit Convention and Visitors Bureau checked in with the civil associations and the federal authorities that operate the camps to register the number of nests they receive, concluding there have been approximately one million sea turtle hatchlings released in the Destination during the nesting season (June through February).
The Nuevo Vallarta Turtle Camp is where most of the region’s turtles are liberated, registering an average of 5,500 registered nests that translates into over 400 thousand released turtles. This camp is followed by the one in Platanitos, which receives an average of 3,000 nests equal to approximately 250 thousand released hatchlings.
The camps that make up the Nayarit Turtle Network are adding an average of 250 thousand hatchlings per season. San Blas releases another 50 thousand and the three camps in the northern region release an additional 70 thousand turtles.
The Olive Ridley Turtle is the most common in the region. These animals nest three times a year dropping about 100 eggs per nest, 80% of which survive with only one out of a thousand returning to reproduce.
In the case of the Hawksbill Turtle there has been one nest found with young hatchlings that will eventually return to nest more frequently. The critically endangered Leatherback and the Black turtles are seen less frequently.
The good news is there are several camps that reported an increase in nests year over year, especially of Olive Ridleys, which is a result of the protection and conservation efforts in place.