Sea Turtles @ Morgan's Rock Nicaragua



One great highlight of a visit to Morgan’s Rock is to witness baby sea turtles scurry out to sea soon after hatching. Our private beach happens to be a natural nesting ground for these precious creatures. Of the seven species of marine turtles that exist in the world today, five of them are endangered. In Nicaragua sea turtles are threatened by both hunters, and predatory animals. At Morgan’s Rock, we are proud to support sea turtle conservation efforts. We, along with our guests, are grateful that we have the unique opportunity to witness both sea turtle nesting and hatching, in the most natural environment. A real treat for visitors is to witness the baby hatchlings scurry out to sea, their passage overseen by Morgan’s Rock staff and guests so as to protect the little ones from predators during this crucial stage of their journey.  Guests commonly refer to this as one of the most memorable experiences of their stay here at the hacienda. In our beach an average of 50 to 60 turtles come to lay eggs during the whole year.


Sea turtles: Why care?

Much can be learned about the condition of the planet's environment by looking at sea turtles. They have existed for over 100 million years, and they travel throughout the world's oceans. Suddenly, however, they are struggling to survive -- largely because of things people are doing to the planet's oceans and beaches. But what does this mean for the human species?

It is possible that a world in which sea turtles can not survive may soon become a world in which humans struggle to survive. If, however, we learn from our mistakes and begin changing our behavior, there is still time to save sea turtles from extinction. In the process, we will be saving one of the earth's most mysterious and time-honored creatures. We might just be saving ourselves too.


Where else can be seing near Morgan´s Rock?

La Flor beach is a sanctuary of nature. Nicaragua is blessed with several beaches where the Olive Ridley turtles come to lay there eggs. These sea turtles weigh about 45 kg and are spread throughout the world. There are nesting sites in Asia and Africa as well, but despite this dispersion the Olive Ridley population is threatened and in some places endangered with extinction. In Nicaragua there is a fairly big population, but egg harvesting and destruction of nesting sites is having an impact on this population.

The Olive Ridley turtles come to the beach en masse, during so called arribadas in which thousands of turtles arrive at the same time to lay their eggs. This way, the hatchlings will swarm the beach in huge numbers and in doing so they increase their chance of survival.


Wildlife Reserve La Flor measures more than 3,000 hectares and is located 22 kilometers south of San Juan del Sur (34 km South From Morgan´s Rock). It is one of the places in Nicaragua where you can observe the arribadas of Olive Ridley turtles.


The arribadas

Seven massive arribadas occur each year, all taking place between July and January. Many other smaller turtle arrivals will also take place during that same time frame. The moon influences the arrivals, but it is never exactly predictable when the turtles will come. After arriving at the beach, the turtles look for a decent place to lay their eggs. After digging a hole the turtles start laying their small, white eggs. About 100 eggs are deposited in the hole, which is then covered up by the turtle. After this impressing job the turtles slowly make their way back to the water. The arribadas take a couple days, during which thousands of turtles visit La Flor. About 50 days later the eggs hatch. Thousands of tiny, dark hatchlings emerge all of a sudden from the sand and crawl towards the ocean. After escaping from the first predators on the beach the small creatures encounter fish waiting in the shallow waters to enjoy an easy meal. The start of a turtle life is not easy! The vast numbers in which they swarm the beach make it possible for some of them to get through and grow into an adult turtle.


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