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Michoacán, key destination in the life of sea turtles

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Every year, Michoacán is the setting of one of the most impressive natural phenomena: the arrival of the sea turtles. Playa Azul, Corolla and Ixtapilla are the gathering spots for females to lay their eggs.

The state annually receives three of the seven sea turtle species that exist in the world: leatherback, olive ridley, and black. The first one, the largest of them all, reaches lengths of up to 1.80 meters (5 ft 11 in) and weights of 500 kilograms (1,100 lb), while the olive ridley is the most abundant and small of all sea turtles and growing to less than 80 cm (2,6 ft) and weighing about to 40 kilograms (88 lb).

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The black turtle, on the other hand, pays homage to its name for the color of its shell, although in other regions it is usually pale or dark green, or yellow.

Michoacán is witness to the great journey of the sea turtles. The migratory phenomenon takes place in different periods throughout the year depending on the species that visits the coast, though October is the month with the most activity in the region. The olive ridley arrives between June and December, the black between October and December and the leatherback between December and March.

The likely threats that the turtles might face during the process motivated the community to come up with distinct activities in favor of their protection and conservation.

Sea turtles play a crucial role in securing the health of the oceans and the balance of nature. However, nowadays they are an endangered species.

For its part, Michoacán has some federally recognized sea turtle sanctuaries, as well as camps that are responsible for ensuring the care of the eggs and, subsequently, contribute to the release of the hatchlings.