Pawikan Conservation Project
Marine turtle conservation is a worldwide activity to ensure the protection of endangered marine turtles. Montemar Beach Club is a marine-protected area and an accredited Pawikan Conservation Center (pawikan is the Filipino word for marine turtles) in support of Executive Order No. 542. The Pawikan Conservation Project aims to conserve marine turtle population in the Philippines. With the support of the Protected Areas and the Wildlife Bureau of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (PAWB-DENR), Montemar Beach Club has conservation areas to contribute in protecting nesting turtles.
In addition, the festival is held in the months of February and November. Activities and festivities are organized in celebration of releasing hatched marine turtles. Turtle Adoption Kits are provided to the participants, which includes a certificate of participation and souvenirs, as well as a hatchling to be released in the waters of the West Philippine Sea supervised by a DENR representative.
Marine turtles are beautiful creatures that travel around 1,300 miles a day. They contribute greatly in maintaining the health of sea grass and coral reefs that benefits other sea creatures. They normally travel in groups when migrating and mating. In general, marine turtles are solitary. Hatchlings live alone until they reach maturity. For more than 100 million years, marine turtles have been covering immense distances across the planet. They are amazing swimmers, but are threatened by predators. Only few marine turtles make it to maturity as predators such as humans, crabs, foxes and birds feast on them. Only about 1 in 1000 eggs survives and reaches adulthood.
During mating season, mature males and females migrate to their breeding grounds. Male turtles arrive at the breeding grounds earlier than the female turtles, and they also leave early to return to their feeding grounds. The female turtles, on the other hand, stay near coastal areas in preparation for their next nesting. Furthermore, male turtles do not leave the sea while female turtles emerge from the sea onto the beach to lay hundreds of eggs in their ovaries. Mature female marine turtles return to the same beach where they were born to lay their own eggs. The eggs incubate for 2 months until they become baby turtles. After hatching, these baby turtles dig their way up to their nest and rush to the ocean to start their lives as independent sea creatures.
Five out of the seven known marine turtles are found in the Philippines. These marine turtles are Chelonia Mydas (Green Turtle), Eretmochelys Imbricate (Hawksbill Turtle), Lepidochelys Olivacea (Olive Ridley Turtle), Caretta Caretta (Loggerhead Turtle) and Dermochelys Coricea (Leatherback Turtle). All five marine turtles are endangered. Deadly threats among marine turtles include bycatch, illegal trade and consumption, habitat loss and climate change. 4,950 turtles are caught each year in Indonesia alone. In addition, 90% of Leatherback Turtles have declined in the Eastern Pacific over the last 30 years.
How We Can Help
- Turn out the lights visible from the beach.
- Reduce the amount of garbage you produce.
- Clean up trash on the beach.
- Be aware of sea turtle nesting areas.
- Avoid nesting and hatching turtles.
- Reduce the amount of chemicals you use.
- Adopt a turtle.
Montemar Beach Club is fully committed to stop the decline of marine turtles and to work for the protection of these amazing creatures. The continuous existence or extinction of these sea turtles will depend on how well we understand its importance to our marine ecosystem. Let Montemar Beach Club be your avenue to comprehend how these creatures exist, multiply and improve our lives and the world we live in.
A major project of
MONTEMAR BEACH CLUB, INC.