There are five different species of sea turtles that can be found along the shores of the Baja peninsula : the leatherback, olive ridley, loggerhead, black and hawksbill turtles.
Sea turtles are a some of Baja’s most beautiful and ancient creatures who have a significant role in Baja’s marine ecosystems and culture. Overall, sea turtles are an endangered species who suffer from both human and ecological facts. While sea turtles suffer from being harvested for consumption, trade, bycatch, medicine, and religious ceremonies, they also suffer from habitat depletion and climate change. Luckily for Baja, organizations such as Tortugueros Las Playitas are dedicated to preserving Baja’s ecosystem and restoring depleted sea turtle populations.
The olive ridley and leatherback turtles nest on Baja’s beaches, and they return to the same beach where they were born.
INTERESTING, BUT NOT-SO-FUN-FACT:
On his travels through Magdalena Bay in Baja, John Steinbeck and his crew harpooned a hawksbill sea turtle for study. Although Steinbeck wished to study the dissected animal objectively, he noted that the scientific process turned into a heart-wrenching moment where he was able to “observe the tender hearts of our crew” rather than the biology of the animal. Afterward, one of his crewmen swore to forever give up sea turtles and henceforth considered them a “protected animal.”