Santo Domingo.- Environment minister Bautista Rojas on Wednesday headed the release 50 hawksbill turtles, hatchlings of Güiby, which laid 215 eggs at Güibia beach August 30.
In the activity 30 students from several high schools placed hatchlings in the sand at nearby Sans Souci beach, from where they instinctively headed to the sea.
Güiby’s other around 100 eggs continue under surveillance until Thursday night, when the hatchlings will be released at Güibia, the same beach where they were laid.
The hawksbill turtle (Eretmochely simbricata) dubbed "Güiby" is around 70 years old and lays its eggs at Güibia beach year after year, for which the Environment has installed permanent guards to protect its nesting site, as well as those of another sea turtle which followed Güiby one month ago.
The hawksbill turtle is endangered because of the regional belief that its eggs are a aphrodisiac, and also because of high demand for its meat and shell, leading to a decimation of its population.
As the result of the turtle protection program in Samana’s beaches El Valle, Limon and Cosón 15 nests of turtles Dermochelys coriacea (leatherback) have been counted this year including nine nests with around 1,200 hatchings which made it to sea.
Also discovered were 75 hawksbill nests, of which 25 bore offspring, with a total of 2,521 hatchlings making it to the sea.