Sea Turtles

On January 8, 2024, WILDCOAST received the exciting news that Barra de la Cruz and Morro Ayuta in Oaxaca were officially declared Natural Protected Areas in Mexico. This victory comes after a lengthy process in which WILDCOAST partnered with CONANP (the National Park Service) to provide field assistance and consulting work for the reserve proposals. This announcement marks a significant achievement for conservation in 2024.

Oaxaca, the most biodiverse state in Mexico, is home to globally important coastal and marine ecosystems that are home to mangroves, wetlands, corals, and threatened and endangered wildlife species. Four of the seven species of sea turtles in the world can be found in Oaxaca. 

The shores of Morro Ayuta beach welcome one million olive ridley turtles to nest each year, resulting in the birth of over five million hatchlings annually. This ranks Morro Ayuta as the second most significant olive ridley nesting beach globally, only surpassed by nearby La Escobilla. It’s one of only ten beaches in the world home to “arribadas”, a phenomenon in which thousands of turtles come ashore to lay eggs simultaneously.

Less than 20 miles away is the tropical paradise, world class surf spot and wildlife haven of Barra de la Cruz, the most important leatherback sea turtle nesting beach in the Eastern Pacific. The largest of all turtles, leatherbacks can measure up to nearly two meters and weigh up to half a ton. Sadly, these incredible animals are endangered as nearly 90% of their population has been decimated.

Conserving and protecting these critical nesting beaches is essential for the survival of these species of marine turtles worldwide and for the health and balance of oceans around the world. 

Since 2012, WILDCOAST has worked in both Barra de la Cruz and Morro Ayuta in collaboration with local communities for the preservation of sea turtles and their habitat. However, these beaches and their adjacent wetland and mangrove ecosystems are under enormous threats from climate change, poaching, and development pressures. 



The designation of sanctuaries on these two beaches will be a turning point for sea turtles, providing legal protection to the beach and allocating more resources for conservation programs involving local communities. We are delighted to start the year celebrating another success for conservation!

Join the fight to protect sea turtles with WILDCOAST today!