The nesting season of skiffs on the beaches of Puerto Rico has officially begun, with the registration of the first arrival of one of these sea turtles, the largest in the world, on the shores of the Northeast Ecological Corridor Natural Reserve (RNCEN) of the island.
This was announced today by the secretary of the Department of Natural and Environmental Resources (DNER) of Puerto Rico, Carmen Guerrero, who specified in a statement that the turtle nested on one of the beaches of this natural reserve during the early hours of Thursday, February 25. .
The nesting season for sheepfish - an animal that since 1970 has been included in the list of endangered species - begins in March, so this year's season has started a little earlier than normal, he pointed.
Last year the first tinglar nest was also registered in February and was found on the Isla Verde beach, in the San Juan metropolitan area.
Among the coasts of Puerto Rico, female tinglar tend to choose the beaches of the north coast for spawning, since their higher waves facilitate access to the sand and the subsequent return to the sea.
Every year this highly migratory animal descends from Canada to the tropics to breed. After laying the eggs during the season that lasts more or less from March to June or July, they usually hatch on the beaches of the area between July and September.
Last year 353 nests were recorded
The nest found this week was marked for its protection and will be guarded by volunteers from the CEN Tortuguero group and members of the Corps of Watchers who collaborate directly with the management officer of the nature reserve, Ricardo Colón, and the coordinator of his turtle project Marinas, Rosaly Ramos.
"One of our recently designated natural protected areas, the Northeast Ecological Corridor Natural Reserve, with its diversity of habitats and wealth of resources, this year becomes the scene of the first shearing nest in Puerto Rico," Guerrero celebrated today in reference to an area where 353 nests were recorded last year.
In his opinion, “these manifestations of nature inject great energy into the agency's staff and the communities that do not cease in their efforts to protect this special area whose perpetual protection was achieved in April 2013, when Governor Alejandro García Padilla made its designation as a natural reserve into law.
The tinglar, two meters and 600 kilos of turtle
The months with the highest nesting activity for this sea turtle, which can grow up to seven feet (more than two meters) long and weigh up to 1,400 pounds (about 635 kilos), are between April and June, when all kinds of environmental groups and volunteers to try to protect the nests.
"Because the nesting season of sheds in Puerto Rico is now beginning, we urge the public to keep the beaches clean of garbage and free of light pollution to ensure successful nesting processes," claimed the Secretary of Natural Resources.
In addition, he recalled that anyone who detects a nest or sees footprints in the sand of the passage of one of these turtles must immediately contact the Command Center of the DNER Guard Corps and maintain a significant distance from the turtle to allow the nesting process is not disturbed.
About 2,000 nests throughout the island
The coordinator of the DNER Sea Turtle Program, Carlos Diez, explained that in the whole island the year 2015 culminated with a total of 1,874 nests, compared to 1,386 in 2013.
The sheds have a biennial behavior, so the statistics are compared between alternate years. This 35% increase allowed around 77,000 herds to be born on the island last year, compared to 67,000 two years earlier.
"In Puerto Rico, we are ready and prepared to protect and monitor the nesting process of these endangered sea turtles," Guerrero defended.