S.O.S. Save Our Sea Turtles

S.O.S Save our Sea Turtles

by Caroline

If you will be visiting León, this September to mid-December we would like to invite you to come and visit our Turtle Sanctuary on Juan Venado island to save the Giant Sea Turtles. From a traveler’s perspective, it’s a great place to watch nature take form and evolve. From an ecological perspective, it’s a beacon of hope for a broad variety of flora and fauna, including (but not limited to) the sea turtles that nest here.

Juan Venado Island Nature Reserve is situated approximately 21km west of the city of León. The island is uninhabited by humans, but visitors can enter via the nearby coastal village of Las Penitas. The nature reserve is protected as a part of the Nicaraguan National Parks system.

Juan Venado Island is an island, measuring around 22 km long, but with an average width of just 0.5 km. On the eastern side, an estuary carves through a large swath of mangrove forest, while the Pacific side of the island is highlighted by a long strip of pristine beach. However, the nature reserve also extends farther into the mainland and includes a protected marine reserve as well.

The island is home to a number of wildlife species.  The swampy mangrove ecosystem provides sanctuary for a broad variety of birds, including pelicans, egrets, herons and terns. In the waters, there are cayman and even crocodiles!  But it’s the sea turtles that have made Juan Venado Island one of the top tourist attractions in Las Penitas.

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With your help, we can make a big difference in bringing the Sea Turtle population back to sustainable levels. If you have children this is an amazing learning opportunity for them. Imagine the positive impact it can have on them to not only help save the turtles now, but that they can come back to the same beach with their own children some day to see the turtles they saved years earlier now laying eggs of their own!

From the months of September to mid-December, female turtles migrate to our shorelines to lay and bury golf-ball sized eggs in the sand, where they incubate for about 45-60 days. When incubation is finished, they crawl out of the sand and scurry to the sea as fast as they can. If they do manage to hatch in the wild, predators and poachers end up getting most of them. It is thought as few as 2% of the hatchlings will make it to adulthood.

When we protect the eggs in the sanctuary, and assist the hatchlings on their release, it is expected that over 90% will survive! The sea turtles can then go on living their juvenile lives and return again one day to the same shoreline where they were released to lay their own eggs.

During the incubation period, it is the temperature of the sand that actually determines if the turtle will be male or female.

29°C is the magic number. If it’s warmer? It’s a girl! If it’s colder? It’s a boy!

We’d love to have you and your loved ones help save these Giant Sea Turtles! This is an amazing learning opportunity and creates a huge impact on the future population of this endangered species. We are offering some fantastic discounts for anyone who shares our passion for making a difference. We look forward to going on the adventure with you!

Contact The León Travel Bureau @ 5504-8045