Poaching has become an increasing threat for olive ridley sea turtles in Mexico. These endangered creatures are often exploited for food, bait, oil, leather, and fertilizer. During the nesting season, hunters are known to comb through beaches at night, looking for nesting female turtles. Although egg collection is illegal in Mexico, and the sale of turtle meat and eggs has been banned for more than two decades, turtle poaching continues to rise in the nation.
In order to combat poaching and any other threats posed by humans, governments and conservationists have developed and tested various methods, including education, ecotourism based on sea turtles, and patrolling nesting beaches. Oaxaca, Mexico plans on taking extra measures to patrolling nesting beaches, Escobilla and Morro Ayuta, by deploying drones that will curb poaching, accompanied by marines on land.
Environmental activists estimate that about 80% of Morro Ayuta beach’s turtle eggs are poached a night. But Guillermo Haro, prosecutor at Mexico’s environmental body, Profepa, hopes to see a significant decline in poaching: “With two drones that are the property of Profepa to surveil (beaches) Escobilla and Morro Ayuta and the result we hope for is to eradicate forever the illegal extraction of turtle eggs in these two beaches.”