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. Sea Turtle Nesting Season In Los Cabos Now Underway

Populations of female endangered sea turtles return to Cabo San Lucas beaches for the first time this year -- marking the official kickoff of the 2008 sea turtle season
by Staff Writers
Del Cabo, Mexico (SPX) Jul 18, 2008
Each year in July marks the beginning of sea turtle season along the beaches of Cabo San Lucas when female endangered sea turtles start returning to shore to nest and lay their eggs.

The first group of endangered female sea turtles of the year were reported on the beaches just two weeks ago, reported Rene Pinal, the long-time owner and operator of a non-profit organization called Association for the Protection of the Environment and the Marine Turtle in Southern Baja (ASUPMATOMA).

For nearly two decades, Pinal, a long-time environmentalist and real estate investor, and his non-profit group ASUPMATOMA, have been dedicated to protecting the area's endangered sea turtles and environment on his private 2000-acre nature preserve located just 15 minutes north of Cabo San Lucas along the Sea of Cortez.

Pinal's estate, the San Cristobal Nature Preserve, is in fact the last private protected nesting beach for endangered sea turtles in all of Los Cabos due to the continued development that has been taking place throughout the region in recent years.

Each year, Pinal and his non-profit organization save tens of thousand newborn baby sea turtles along the Los Cabos shorelines from coastal development, pollution, and illegal hunting and fishing practices, which have largely contributed to the demise of these endangered species.

Last year, alone, ASUPMATOMA protected 562 nests with a total of 59,361 eggs, resulting in the birth of 41,684 newborn baby sea turtles that were then released to sea.

"This is a very exciting time of year for us because in just a few months, usually at the end of September, we will be able to watch the birth of thousands of endangered baby sea turtles as they hatch from their eggs and make their way to sea for the first time," Pinal said.

"Witnessing this annual event is a truly remarkable experience for local residents, children and tourists, alike, who participate. People travel from all over the world to our preserves every year to see the baby sea turtles hatch from their eggs and help release them to the ocean."

The endangered sea turtles, which have lost most of their habitat in the Los Cabos area to hotels and resorts that now cover the shoreline, as well as become victims of illegal hunting and fishing, beachfront lighting and pollution, can still find shelter at Pinal's estate, which is the last standing private preserve for endangered sea turtles.

The San Cristobal Nature Reserve is open to the public year round. However, the sea turtle season takes place from July 15 to December 15, and the best times to actually witness newborn baby sea turtles on the beaches is between September and November.

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Brisbane, Australia (SPX) Jul 18, 2008
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