Cozumel Sea Turtles: A Guide to Protecting These Amazing Creatures
Cozumel is home to three of the seven remaining species of sea turtles, including the loggerhead turtle, the hawksbill turtle, and the green sea turtle. Scuba divers can see these turtles throughout Cozumel’s waters, but they are most commonly seen in the reefs and lagoons that surround the island.
- Loggerhead turtles are the largest of the three species and can grow to be over 7 feet long.
- They are named for their large, reddish-brown head.
- Loggerheads are herbivores and eat a variety of seagrasses, algae, and sponges.
- Hawksbill turtles are the smallest of the three species and can grow to be about 4 feet long.
- Turtles are named for their sharp, hooked beak.
- Hawksbills are carnivores and eat a variety of crustaceans, fish, and invertebrates.
Green Sea Turtles
- Green sea turtles are the most common of the three species and can grow to be about 5 feet long.
- They are named for their green-colored carapace.
- Green sea turtles are herbivores and eat a variety of seagrasses, algae, and sponges.
Turtles and the Cozumel Marine Ecosystem
Sea turtles are an important part of the Cozumel marine ecosystem. They help to keep the reefs clean by eating algae and other marine life. Sea turtles also help to disperse seeds and pollinate plants.
Threats to Sea Turtles
Unfortunately, sea turtles are facing a number of threats, including habitat loss, pollution, and entanglement in fishing gear. It is important to do our part to protect these amazing creatures.
How to Help Sea Turtles
Here are a few things you can do to help sea turtles:
- Avoid buying products made from sea turtle products, such as jewelry, bags, and shoes.
- Dispose of trash properly, as sea turtles can easily become entangled in litter.
- Reduce your use of plastic bags, as sea turtles can mistake them for jellyfish and eat them.
- Support organizations that are working to protect sea turtles.
What to Do If You See a Sea Turtle in Cozumel
If you encounter a sea turtle in Cozumel, please give it plenty of space and do not touch it. Sea turtles are protected by law. Therefore, it is illegal to disturb them. However, if you see a sea turtle that is injured or in need of help, please contact the Cozumel Turtle Rescue Team at (52) 987-222-9622.
Sea turtles are an amazing part of the Cozumel marine ecosystem. Let’s do our part to protect them