Nov. 18 - Newborn turtles navigate the beaches of Oaxaca in annual hatching. Sharon Reich reports.
▲ Hide Transcript
▶ View Transcript
Thousands of baby turtles race toward the ocean on Pacific beach in Oaxaca.
Also known as Playa de Morro, this beach is an important breeding ground for Olive Ridley turtles.
The species is making a comeback after being named on the U.S. list of Endangered Species.
Twenty years ago, Mexico's government implemented ecological plans to protect the sea turtles from being hunted for their leather and meat. The plan established conservation areas and a pay system for local residents to protect turtle nests.
Guillermo Gonzalez works with an environmental group overseeing the turtle camp at this beach and explains that in November and December millions of baby turtles hatch on the shores.
SOUNDBITE: Guillermo Gonzalez Morro Ayuta Turtle Camp Coordinator saying (Spanish):
"We're estimating that, in these three or four days, some three to five million young will be born which represents approximately 30 to 50 percent of hatchlings on this beach."
Mexico has several species of turtle. It is estimated that in 2012, there were 20 million newborns. Hatching season is still underway, but officials say they expect there will be even more turtles born this year.