Los Cabos Sea Turtle Release Program

Our staff at Wild Canyon doesn’t just organize, promote and book exciting vacation adventures – we live them! The Los Cabos Sea Turtle Release Program showcases that adventurous spirit and attention to detail that keep fans always returning for action-packed holiday adventures in the famous Los Cabos tourist corridor. Next to Wild Canyon, the sea turtle protection program is one of the greatest attractions for nature and wildlife enthusiasts who want more out of travel than just relaxing on a beach. That’s why we teamed up with ECOPLAN, nonprofit organization, to chronicle one a fascinating hands-on experience that ecology-minded tourists and their adventure-loving families can find anywhere on Earth.

Watch our experience along the Los Cabos sea turtle release program team while we patrol the Los Cabos beaches in search for turtle nests and learn how to properly take care of this wonderful species. Our guides are talking Spanish so remember to turn the close captions on at the lower right corner of the video player for English subtitles. If you want to download some cool photos of  the Release Program and the making of this video, read on and follow the instructions at the end of this post.

Why the Sea Turtle Protection Program in Cabo San Lucas Is Needed

The sea turtle protection program in Cabo San Lucas exists because sea turtles became endangered because of civilization’s encroachment on their nesting environments, illegal poaching, and fishing mishaps. Adult turtles nest and lay their eggs on land and the baby sea turtles, after hatching, move to the sea because they’re attracted to natural light over the horizon that reflects off the ocean’s waves. Unfortunately, only about one out of 1,000 babies survive until adulthood because of predators; that includes birds, crabs, raccoons, dogs, aquatic predators and other threats that attack the eggs and hatchlings. Even adult sea turtles aren’t 100% safe because illegal poachers hunt them for eggs, meat and shells.

The baby sea turtles often head toward beach lights, car headlights, fires, streetlights, discarded food and other stimulants of modern civilization. If a turtle heads in the wrong direction, its exposure to predators and threats almost guarantees its death. The Sea Turtle protection program in Los Cabos by ECOPLAN with the help of environmentalists, other concerned businesses and people like you that support them protecting and releasing sea turtles safely into the ocean can improve their chances of survival increase dramatically.

Although we’re not affiliated with the ECOPLAN sea turtle protection program in Cabo San Lucas, we support its work and methodology. The ECOPLAN team graciously granted us access to film this incredible journey that loggerhead, leatherback, olive ridley and black sea turtles make every year, mostly between June and November. Our video was shot in June when the biologists were busy setting up new protected nurseries for the season.

Filming the Sea Turtle Protection Program in Cabo San Lucas

The head of ECOPLAN AC (Planet Ecology and Conservation) is Martin Andrade Almazán, who was born in Acapulco but has lived in Cabo San Lucas for ten years. Almazán helped to organize the conservation program two years before we at Wild Canyon approached him for permission to film the sea turtle protection program in action. We interviewed Almazán, biologist Elizabeth Flores Breton, David A. Rojas, and biologist Lara Cibeles while accompanying them on their rounds to locate sea turtle nests and transport the eggs to protected nurseries where they’ll be monitored and protected by the Los Cabos Sea Turtle Release Program.

Our odyssey took us along the beach where the sea turtle protection program team of biologists used special thermometers called thermoscopes that measure ground temperatures and moisture content of ideal nesting areas for sea turtle nurseries. Once an ideal incubation spot was found, the experts from the sea turtle protection program in Cabo San Lucas constructed a pen to keep out predators like crabs that feed on the eggs and young hatchlings. It’s necessary to choose a spot well above the high-tide line, and Hurricane Odile actually helped because it showed exactly how high the tide could get after the strongest of hurricanes. The area chosen for a nest must also be free of impromptu streams of water and puddles.

Martin Almazán Explains the Los Cabos Sea Turtle Release Program

Martin Almazán explained the Los Cabos Sea Turtle Release Program in simple, candid terms: “I met a group of distinguished biologists who deserve all my respect and who have helped the efforts to create this group.” The fledgling conservation program enlisted to become a formal non-profit and was granted the necessary permits to use the beach, which is on federally protected land. The organizers submitted a sea turtle protection and management plan that was accepted. The newly formed Planet Ecology and Conservation nonprofit organization proved therapeutic for Almazán because the organization was allowed to take part in the conservation efforts. Almazán further added, “This was very special for me since the introduction with the turtles was almost like a therapy for me… It helped me get out of a depression.”

The team accommodates individual groups and tourists who support the sea turtle protection program and want to participate first-hand in the Los Cabos Sea Turtle Release Program. The sea turtle protection program releases hundreds of turtles almost every day during the season, and visitors get a once-in-a-lifetime ecological adventure that few events in the world can match.

Biologist Elizabeth Flores Breton’s Interview

Elizabeth Flores Breton, a founding biologist of EcoPlan’s sea turtle protection program in Cabo San Lucas, believes firmly in conservation and protecting our natural resources in rational ways. Breton was born in Mexico City but discovered Cabo San Lucas about two years before our filming. She commented, “In this area, taking care of nature is critical because we have the presence of many horseback riding tours and people who come in on with their vehicles; sea turtle predation in this area has been going on for years, and it is important to start a conservation program for these animals.”

Biologist Lara Cibeles, Leader of Planet Ecology and Conservation Camp

Biologist Lara Cibeles, who comes from Santa Maria Huatulco, Oaxaca, moved to Baja to work with these beautiful reptiles and the Los Cabos Sea Turtle Release Program. Cibeles commented on the sea turtle protection program, “Personally, I enjoy working with living organisms and, above all, to preserve the beaches because this is one of the beaches that needs the most conservation efforts.”

Our View of an Incubation Pen

The pen we filmed contained 227 turtle nests that averaged 100 eggs each. Some hatchlings had already emerged on one side of the pen. Nests are placed in order according to projected hatching dates. Trained biologists monitor the eggs and hatchlings each day to count turtles and record the information for the sea turtle protection program.

We stayed in this general area while we filmed the Los Cabos Sea Turtle Release Program. Locals and tourists visit the area daily—especially on weekends—and we shot them as they walked around and talked with our crew and the ECOPLAN team. The biologists insist that people not use flashes on their cameras because they disturb the hatchlings.

Recording Data for the Sea Turtle Protection Program in Cabo San Lucas

EcoPlan’s director, Almazán, graciously explained that the pens needed to be above the highest water line recorded from the previous year but below the dune vegetation area. This minimizes attacks from predatory crabs and other types of wildlife more common to lush areas of vegetation. Each nest has an identifying plank that records the number of eggs, turtle species, collection date, and time expected for hatching.

The nests are separated by at least 1 meter of space in a triangular configuration to reduce interference and prevent sudden temperature changes that might affect the hatching dates. The distance also prevents the baby turtles from migrating to other nests and provides more room for the biologists to move around.

Visitors and local residents are discouraged from releasing dogs at the beach because they often dig at nests or attack the turtles. That doesn’t mean that you can’t bring a pet, but you must keep it leashed.

Sexing Reptiles

Sex in most reptiles is not determined by chromosomes but temperature, so temperature control is essential to get an even distribution of 50% males and 50% females. The ideal incubation temperature is between 27- and 30-degrees Celsius. Higher temperatures produce more females, and lower temperatures favor males. It’s important to keep an even mix because more animals of the same gender reduce the species’ reproduction ability. More females might seem preferable, but having too few males results in genetic drift. You can’t tell if a turtle is male or female by observation because they don’t have external genitalia; DNA testing is required.

Searching for Nests

Sand density is an important clue for finding turtle nests. Areas where vehicles compacted the sand are too dense for turtles to nest or destroy existing nests. The biologists can often find turtle tracks that haven’t been washed away by weather and beach activity. Our video shows the parallel marks of turtle tracks. Clues are important because adult turtles try to camouflage their nests. When nests are found, the biologists enter information on field cards about the number of eggs, species, whether eggs are broken, temperature of the nest and whether the eggs are polarized. If the eggs have progressed to where a shell forms, the yolk has polarized and begun developing into a baby turtle. These eggs are left in the nest, which the team monitors, patrols and tries to protect. The biologists also mark the nests from which the eggs have been removed so that other researchers from the sea turtle protection program know that the nest has already been processed.

Incredible Facts About Prehistoric Sea Turtles and Mexico

Sea turtles were alive at the beginning of the Mesozoic Era 225 million years ago and survived the rise and extinction of the dinosaurs. Six of the seven surviving species are threatened by humanity. Threats to the reptiles include high attrition rates for hatchlings, loss of nesting sites, poaching, coastal development, pollution and accidental entanglement in fishing nets.

These magnificent but fragile reptiles need air to breathe and places to nest on land, but they’re well-adapted to survive in the ocean. The leatherback sea turtle often grows to more than 1,000 pounds, and some turtles live as long as 100 years or more. Mexico is home to more surviving sea turtles than any country in the world, so its citizens and businesses bear an especially powerful incentive to safeguard the reptiles because they’re good for the planet, good for Mexico and good for tourism.

We hope that you enjoy watching this inspiring video about the Los Cabos Sea Turtle Release Program and that you’ll consider a vacation to Los Cabos to see this incredible journey in its real-world setting. You and your family will enjoy the vacation of a lifetime with the attractions, natural wonders of Baja and Mexico, guest amenities and action-based excursions that are available. As always at Wild Canyon, we’re glad to help you plan or book your tour, and we can recommend some excellent trips based on our extensive research and youth-inspired idealism and sense of adventure.

Solaz a Luxury Collection Resorts Epic Surprise

Solaz, a Luxury Collection Resort’s historic opening day in Los Cabos, Mexico curated an unforgettable welcome for the first distinguished guest. Take a look at “The Art and Soul of the Baja” creating a once in a lifetime memory.

 

Carnival Caribbeans Leading Tour Operator.

We are very happy with the performance of our team for having received the award of Carnival Caribbean’s Leading Tour Operator.

Especially we thank our customers who have trusted us and recommended us thanks to the incredible experience they had had with us.

We hope to continue sharing quality experiences and above all a good service for all our customers.

Good news! Over 15 brand new Honda Recon 250 cc and Honda Rancher 450 cc ATV’s have just arrived to the park and they are ready for adventures. What are you waiting, wanna take them for a ride?

After establishing our relief fund for Lalo, Moni and Miguel, who lost their houses during hurricane Odile, we received generous donations from many people who wished to help. Up to date we received an amount that would translate into about $30,000 pesos in total. We went shopping for the materials needed to rebuild their homes, join us in this exiting journey.

 

To honour all who donated to our cause, our Wild Canyon Heroes, we built this totem with their names. This totem was built with debris recovered from the destroyed buildings at the park during the hurricane.

 

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As probably you already know  on September 14th, 2014  Odile hit Los Cabos as a hurricane category 4 wreaking havoc. Many business and houses were heavily damaged and other completely destroyed but thanks to the help and support of the local and international community Los Cabos has been able to recover faster than expected.

[heading subtitle=”Hurricane Relief Fund”]The WIld Canyon Heroes [/heading]

Our park also suffered heavy damage and a few of our staff members lost their homes during the storm. We have established a relief fund to help them rebuild their homes and get back on their feet, you can meet the people that is going to be benefited with this relief program below. If you would like to make a donation please check out gofundme.com campaign.

 

 

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If you can’t you think in a better way of spending your vacations other than going into an adventurous zip-lining experience in the morning and afterwards returning to relax in one of the most prestigious Unlimited-Luxury hotel of Los Cabos, then Dreams Resorts Los Cabos has the perfect vacation package for you!

The “Vacation Adventure Package” grants  every guest in your Preferred Club room category one Tortuga Ziplines activity. Your Wild Canyon adventure should be arranged with the hotel concierge prior to arrival. Book and travel between May 1st and October 31st, 2014 for a minimum of 4 nights in order to be eligible for this package, this promotion is valid for US and Canadian residents only.

Visit Drams Resorts blog or website for more information.

The longest hanging bridge of its kind in the world! Los Cabos Canyon Bridge Opening Review

 

On Monday March 31st we made the official opening ceremony for Los Cabos Canyon Bridge, the longest wooden hanging bridge in North America and longest bridge of its kind in the world. Our new attraction allows tourists and locals to cross over the El Tule Canyon by foot or on an ATV.

The ribbon-cutting ceremony was led by Mayor Jose Antonio Agúndez, the Secretary of Tourism Ruben Riachi, the Director of Tourism Trust of Los Cabos Eduardo Segura, our CEO and Owner León Robles and Wild Canyon’s Chief Financial Officer Cristina Ortiz.

Among the guests at the event were concierges, travel agents, incentive houses and other agencies that make possible the spread of this touristic destination. This pleasant evening started with the sunset and guests participating in zip-lines, bungee jumping and other activities while enjoying the big surprise of getting to know the newest bar of this spectacular park.

The bridge, 330 meters long, 2 meters wide, 50 meters above the ground at its lowest point and 100 meters at its highest point, is not only a symbol of Los Cabos and Baja California but also you can definitely call it an engineering wonder. You can learn more interesting facts of Los Cabos Canyon Bridge construction in its website section to become our next Wild Canyon Ambassador!

 

 

 

As some of you know the Children´s Day is meant to promote fraternity, understanding and wellness towards children worldwide as well to further develop children’s rights. Many countries established this day in a date that was more convenient for them before the United Nations approved the Declaration of the Rights of the Child in 1959. Therefore this day is celebrated in many ways and on different dates worldwide even though the official date is on October 1st. In Mexico we celebrate it on April 30 and is custom that parents give presents to their children, many non-profits fund-raise to bring entertainment to the children that most need it and on many schools special activities are planned.

Cabos Marketplace is a monthly bilingual publication for Los Cabos local community, it focuses on promoting and supporting local businesses. To join this celebration is publishing in their next issue a special edition with many of the activities specially recommended for children here in Los Cabos. And guess what? We have been featured in their cover! Their young model, Tamara Mohar, was captured playing with Sahara and Gaga, our youngest camels. We leave the photos below.

If you are interested in supporting children’s rights and well-being don’t forget to check out Children International and Los Cabos Children Foundation.

The Biological Diversity in Los Cabos

Talking about the sea and its wonders, Los Cabos is a synonym of biological diversity. The biological diversity in Los Cabos allows us to be amazed by the unique scenery from the union of two great seas; the vast Pacific Ocean and the peaceful Sea of Cortez. They join in one of the most famous rock formations in the world, El Arco. These seas provide us with a myriad of marine species. Some of them only come for a season, like the gray whale that visits us from December to May, or the black and blue marlin that comes only in autumn. Some of the species that can be found and make part of Los Cabos biological diversity all year round are tuna, striped marlin, seagulls and pelicans.

Not only because Cabo San Lucas and San Jose del Cabo are situated on the cost our biological diversity is so wide, we also are surrounded by a desert as big as the ocean. In it you will find cactus, damiana flowers and palms, roadrunners, hares, snakes and deer, yes! Deer! You can also find wild cats, foxes and many more animals. To complete this fantastic landscape, about 45 minutes from our dear Cabo, you can find a place called La Sierra de la Laguna where more wildlife completes this broad network ecosystems that surround us and make our eternal paradise.

We can’t say that our diversity is only in the wild, the origins of the people that lives in Los Cabos covers many countries from around the globe that just fell in love with the beauties of this place and they decided to settle here making a special magic that Los Cabos has to offer.

Wild Canyon is proud to be part of this wonderful place and be part of the reason the biological diversity in Los Cabos in such an attraction.