El Cid Resorts collaborates with the CONANP Sea Turtle Conservation Program and the UNDP-Resilience Project in Puerto Morelos.
Hotel Marina El Cid Spa & Beach Resort is located in the community of Puerto Morelos, Quintana Roo. That old fishing village grew up watching the beautiful beaches of what is now the Puerto Morelos Reef National Park.
This National Park contains a coral reef barrier, which is the second-longest reef chain in the world. This barrier is a fragile and vulnerable ecosystem made up of various types of corals, which are home to many species of fish, crustaceans, mollusks, and sea turtles, among others.
Unfortunately, ocean pollution and climate change have unleashed many problems, such as coral bleaching due to high temperatures. Another problem is the excess of nutrients due to the massive arrival of sargassum and, recently, a new disease called “White Syndrome“. This disease has caused the death of more than half of the brain corals in just one year. Therefore, to find solutions to these major problems, initiatives such as the Resilience Project have arisen. These initiatives seek to contribute to the implementation of actions that, from research to social management, can face this concerning global problem.
Facing the problem …
One of the most important effects of climate change is the increase in temperature on the planet. High temperatures threaten oceans and their ecosystems, such as reefs and all the life they hold. Such is the case of the Sea Turtles classified as “in danger of extinction“.
In recent days colleagues from the Environmental Directorate of El Cid Puerto Morelos, participated with Field Officer Biol. Vanessa Francisco of the UNDP-Resilience Project, for the installation of the “thermographs“. These devices measure and record the temperature of the sand inside pens or in turtle nests.
Under the summer sun and after digging a hole about 60 cm deep in the sand, Vanessa explained to us that the thermograph stores on a chip. This chip collects data regarding temperature changes inside and outside the broods. This data allows them to continue an investigation that has been going on for about five years now.
And the turtles … What do they have to do with all this?
Sea Turtles are ancient species and are in danger of extinction! Their presence tells us a lot about the health of our oceans. For El Cid Resorts, one way to contribute to their survival is through the Conservation Programs that are activated every year at the beginning of the season.
The staff of the UNDP-Resilience Project and the Park Rangers of the CONANP (National Commission of Protected Natural Areas) of Puerto Morelos, included the nesting beaches of El Cid for their temperature monitoring program. And we are very honored to contribute to a project like this one, through our Sea Turtle Conservation Program.
Did you know that the sex of a whole brood of turtles is defined by the temperature of their nest? That’s right. If the temperature of an incubating nest exceeds 29º C, almost all the hatchlings will be female. On the contrary, if the temperature is lower than 29º C, the majority of the brood will be male. Following this, if the temperature is around 29º C, 50% of the hatchlings will be female, and 50% will be male.
The data collected during this nesting season, both from El Cid Resorts nests and from other beaches around the world, will allow research biologists to compare the increase in temperature of the nests over the five years of research. In this way, we can have a better understanding of aspects of climate change and find new solutions to mitigate its impacts.
It is expected that one of the thermographs placed in the pens on the beaches of El Cid Resorts in Puerto Morelos, will return data from at least three nests of turtles. In the meantime, another one located in the center of the pen will store the sand temperature data throughout the season.
In Mexico, the Resilience Project is implemented by UNDP (United Nations Development Program) with financing from the Global Environment Facility (GEF) and is implemented by CONANP (National Commission for Protected Natural Areas). 14 States participate, covering 12 bioregions in 18 protected natural areas, in Quintana Roo, corresponding to the stretch of coastline between Isla Mujeres and Puerto Morelos.
There are many efforts being made around the world to preserve life for future generations, and for us, it is important to contribute by working in partnership with other organizations, respecting environmental regulations, and sharing love with our guests and the respect we have for the life of our planet.