In addition to restoring the staghorn coral population, the PUNTACANA Ecological Foundation has another project that is near and dear to our hearts: sea turtle preservation.
The PUNTACANA Ecological Foundation has worked tirelessly since 1994 with both local and international organizations to help protect sea turtles as all seven species of sea turtles are currently facing extinction. Before I discuss the efforts that are currently being made on behalf of the sea turtles, we should take a moment to look at the incredibly cute animals that we’re saving.
See, who wouldn’t want to save the sea turtles? They’re so cute! From June to October, sea turtles can be found in the waters of Punta Cana, looking for a safe place to lay their eggs. Once sea turtle mothers find a safe spot on the beach to lay their eggs, they begin the exhausting process of creating a nest and laying their eggs. (They’re sea turtles, so their movements on land are ponderous and difficult.) After about two months of incubation, baby turtles will crawl from their nests and, guided by the moonlight, make their way to the sea. This process is anything but straightforward, and human intervention has played a role in causing sea turtle populations to be in jeopardy.
Unfortunately, humans are the largest cause of sea turtle depopulation. Given that sea turtles nest on the beach, coastal development has played a large role in reducing the numbers of viable nesting areas as has humans plundering sea turtle nests and consuming the eggs. In addition to harming sea turtles on land, humans have overfished adult sea turtle populations in the ocean, and some species of sea turtles, notably the Hawksbill turtle, are used to craft elaborate souvenirs and articles of clothing. All of these factors put sea turtle populations at risk of extinction.
The good news, however, is that humans can also help sea turtle populations, and the PUNTACANA Ecological Foundation has several initiatives designed to do exactly that. All of the beaches on the resort are monitored by the Foundation during nesting season, and the lighting on these beaches is likewise modified to prevent hatchlings from being disoriented when they are making the long trek to the ocean. In addition to making changes to the lighting and monitoring the beaches, the Foundation also educates the local community regarding sea turtle habitats and nesting behavior so that eggs and turtles go undisturbed during nesting season.
And you can help too! If you live near the beach and enjoy the ocean, there are some very simple things you can do to help sea turtles.
By taking these simple steps, everyone can help.
Despite fighting an uphill battle, sea turtles can be saved from extinction, and we can all play a part in giving them a fighting chance at survival. The efforts made by the PUNTACANA Ecological Foundation have provided necessary support to keep a thriving population of sea turtles nesting on the beaches at Puntacana, but the role played by turtle lovers like you cannot be underestimated, because it takes all of us to keep sea turtles safe.
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