Drones for Good: Mexico Moves to Protect Endangered Sea Turtle Eggs From Poachers
Mexico is deploying a new weapon in its war against sea turtle poachers: drones.
The country hosts some of the highest populations of sea turtles in the world. In 2014, an estimated 1.1 million nests covered the beaches of La Escobilla, and 36 million sea turtles were born that year, according to The Associated Press.
With August being peak nesting season, authorities plan to deploy drones to watch over La Escobilla and Morro Ayuta beaches in Oaxaca state. Beaches are the primary nesting area for sea turtles, and the disturbance of these habitats threatens hatchlings’ survival.
Though sea turtles are protected under Mexican law, their meat and eggs continue to be illegally sold in domestic and international markets. It’s estimated that tens of thousands of sea turtles are killed each year owing to egg poaching and illegal fishing practices. Mexico’s fishers killed about 2,000 endangered loggerhead sea turtles last year.
The drones will help authorities keep tabs on sea turtle nests—and poachers.