Pinar del Rio, March 29 – Cuban scientists, activists and citizens of the western town of La Coloma have organized the second festival dedicated to the protection of sea turtles in that coastal community of Pinar del Rio.
Three species of sea turtles -green, hawksbill and loggerhead- nest in the nearby Cayos de San Felipe, located southwest off the Cuban archipelago.
As part of the festival activities, specialists will monitor the arrival area of the turtles and conduct research in the dunes to count the nests, determine the species to which they belong, and check hatched eggs, among other parameters.
Parallel, authorities organized environmental education activities for the residents of towns bordering the turtle nesting-sites.
Jardines de la Reina, the National Park San Felipe Keys, Key Largo, Guanahacabibes Peninsula and Isle of Youth are the main places where sea turtles travel to leave offspring during the spawning season, which extends from May to September.
The province of Pinar del Rio has also pioneered a university project for monitoring and research of these animals.
Guanahacabibes beaches function as open laboratories where brigades of volunteers care and observe the newborns.
Each turtle embarks on its first solo tour in the ocean, where they are often victims of various predators.