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Preparations are under way for the arrival of this year's turtle nesting season, said Christopher González Baca, Head of Environmental Projects for the island's municipal authority this Thursday.

Cozumel turtles
Protecting turtle nests.

Thousand of turtles arrive every year to lay their eggs on beaches on the island's eastern coast. Local authorities and volunteers help to protect the endangered species by relocating the eggs from nests in risk areas to secure sanctuaries, away from tourists and natural dangers.

The sanctuary will be in operation this year from May 15 to November 15. Once eggs hatch, the baby turtles are cared for and then released back into the sea.

González Baca said that in previous years this technique has led to 90 per cent of eggs hatching successfully.

Related stories:

"More Than 800 Turtle Nests" Aug 9, 2007.

"Turtle Savers Seek $10,000" Mar 7, 2007.

" Record-Breaking Turtle Season" Jul 26, 2006.