Saving Turtles in San Pancho Mexico

In San Pancho Mexico, (also known as San Francisco Nayarit), the  San Pancho Mexico Turtle Project began  on April 16, 1993, when theLogo Grupo Ecológico de la Costa Verde, A.C. received official recognition by the MexicanNursery Government to become the first environmental non-profit civil association of the region with the special interest in the protection of the marine turtle.  Through the Mexican Government, SEMARNAT (Secretary of the Environment and Natural Resources) the Group was granted permission to continue its work along the neighboring beaches. The board of directors was created to carry out the objectives and goals via voting, with the officers now in standing; Frank D. Smith as Director, Maria Elvia Garcia Palmera, Secretary, and Rocio artinex Ocegueda as Treasurer.

They and the volunteers work day and night protecting the turtles by removing the eggs form the nests so poachers can’t collect them, usually at night. They have had terrific success! Frank also writes a monthly newsletter, and you can sign up for it here.

Being a completely non-profit organization in San Pancho Mexico, they need your support, whether its you time, money or equipment. there is always a way to help out.

Nests Saved in San Pancho Mexico
The Number of nests recorded by the end of July came to 108, (down 16 nests from last July.)  Around 96 were placed in the box nurseryOlive Ridley, 5 were left in place on the beach and, unfortunately,  7 nests were taken by poachers. I suppose that is pretty good odds considering! All seven species of sea turtles are endangered worldwide and all are protected by law. Turtle meat, eggs, leather or shells are illegal to own or to sell and the penalties are very severe.
This year the almost extinct Leatherback turtle nested in San Pancho. There is a huge difference in the size between the Leatherbacks and the Ridley species. The leatherbacks are truly amazing giant turtles! They did not see the mother turtle on the first  nesting, but got to release those little darlings, helping to ensure the species survival. Most of the turtles laying eggs on the Riviera Nayarit are of the Ridley species and the Pacific Green Turtle. 

They rely on volunteers, and this July 2013 they are: Joslin, Starlie and Summer Bertrand, Kristen Barbour, Patricia Dombrowski, Megan Ewald, Lisa, Carly and Annie Hoffner, USA and Amalia Sedlmayer, Germany, Manuel Murrieta, México, and Lisa Fisher, Canada.
These volunteers not only take care of the nurseries, and collect the eggs at night, but also clean up the trash on the beaches. Did you know that turtles eat jellyfish? Now, there is a happy thought, if you have ever been stung by one!
Well, the turtles also mistake plastic for food! The plastic holders that hold the bottles can also get wrapped around animals bodies, necks and faces. Please, don’t litter, and help pick up the trash when you can. This San Pancho Mexico Turtle Team is AWESOME!

When to see a Turtle Release
The turtle releases in San Pancho Mexico are at the sunset hour, down in front of the restaurants on the San Pancho beach. The hatchlings look for the subtle light reflecting off the surf and waves to direct them towards the sea.Hatchlings Other forms of  lighting can point them in the wrong direction, and wandering about on the beach can lead to almost certain death. Even hatchlings that eventually find their way to the water can be too exhausted to swim – becoming easy pickings for fish. The lights from houses and restaurants play a large role in the disruption of nesting sea turtles and they can get lost or confused, and also confusing to the hatchlings.Olive Ridley

There has also been some concern with the heavy rains and flooding, as the beach nursery could get washed away.  The turtle nests need to remain dry for the first 12 days of incubation.  When eggs drop from the nesting turtle they are soaked in a antibiotic water solution, glossy, cream-white in color.  At the point when the eggs hit the sand its shell must quickly turn a dry, chalk-white color.  This transformation will allow the eggs to shed water, sand and bacteria, and most importantly, it will allow it to exchange carbon dioxide for oxygen.  Although white eggs may die if they receive heavy rain or flooding waves anytime within the first twelve days of incubation.

How do the Turtle Eggs breathe???
How do eggs breathe under eighteen inches of damp sand??? Its all about the tide coming in and out.  As the tide goes out, a large amount of water under the beach will go out with it. This allows air to be drawn down through the sand and around the nest.  As the time come in, it pushes carbon dioxide up and out of the next to the surface, much like an air bellow. And…this is how they can breathe…its so amazing! Thanks for all of the terrific information Frank!

If you have information on the location of a nests or a nesting turtle, or someone poaching a nest or capturing a turtle, please contact Frank and the gang at 045-322-191-1475 or 258-4100.
 Joslin has created their new and fun facebook page :

These folks in San Pancho Mexico have really helped save the turtle population here on the Riviera Nayarit.
Find out more on their website at, and how you can help, or come out out to San Pancho Mexico, down on the beach at 8:30pm for a hatching release. If you have never experienced this, you will find that it opens your heart with joy, and it is a great experience for all the kids.
Thanks to Frank and the San Pancho Turtle Project team for the information and the fun photos!

Enjoy the experience of a turtle release on the beach with the San Pancho Turtle Project  on the beautiful Riviera Nayarit in San Pancho Mexico.


 Leave a Reply



You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

© 2012 Riviera Nayarit Fun Suffusion theme by Sayontan Sinha