FAUNA OF THE WETLAND

SEA TURTLES

The sea turtles have always played a very important role as a mystical element based on the special relationship developed by the aboriginal Caribs, Wayu˙, Kunas, Miskitos, Guajiros, Ramas, Garifunas and Ngńbes that linked the cultural aspects; so sea turtles have played a very important role as a mystical element, which is the special relationship that the aborigines developed with the environment.

In the San San Pond Sak Wetland three species of sea turtles nest: green (Chelonia mydas), hawksbill (Eretmochelys imbricata), and leatherback turtle (Dermochelys coriacea); however it is the leatherback turtle the most representative species of the Wetland.

The sea turtles during their life cycle go through different habitats, being the beach essential for this species nesting; the female come out of the sea to nest on the edge of the beach and, about two months later, are born turtles which instinctively direct to the sea where it initiates its aquatic phase.

During their development, they pass through the juvenile, subadult and adult state, inhabiting water rich in food; when they reach sexual maturity they migrate to breeding sites, which usually occurs near the nesting beach, although it depends on the species.

Description of the leatherback turtle
(Dermochelys coriacea)

- Specie:  Leatherback
- Average Length:  152 cm
- Renesting frequency:     6 times x season
- Renesting interval:    9 days
- Remigration:  2-3 years
- Average clutch size:     82 normal eggs, 112 total eggs
- Footprint size:  150-230 cm
- Symmetry of Footprint:  Symmetric
- Presence on the Caribbean coast:  February to August
- General characteristics:
   Carapace without shields or scales and with prominent longitudinal keels,
   black color with white spots, some pink spots on the body,
   spots on the head, large and strong front fins.
- Incubation time:  50-70 days