The DR is home to Leatherback, Loggerhead, Hawksbill, Olive Ridley, and Green turtles.
On the North Coast, where we are, you’ll tend to see more leatherback turtles. The green ones live on the South side of th island.
Kitesurfers in Cabarete report seeing turtles swimming around them out on Kite Beach, so keep an eye out for them in the water!
Leatherbacks nest on Cabarete Beach between May and July. Watch them dig themselves into the warm sand to lay around 80-90 eggs!
March to November is turtle nesting season in the DR. Leatherback, Hawksbill and Green turtles lay their eggs on the shores of Jaragua National Park and Saona Island. Their nesting grounds are protected but, still, all the DR’s turtle species are critically struggling for numbers.
Leatherbacks mainly feed on jellyfish, which is why plastic in the ocean is so very dangerous for them. They mistake plastic bags and other floating plastics for jellyfish and choke on them.
Their survival is also threatened by getting captured or having their eggs stolen. Eggs and turtles are sold as food for humans, and as material for crafts and souvenirs for tourists. Turtles can become entangled in fishing nets, both in use and discarded nets.
Turtles are stunning creatures that have played a part in human spirituality and folklore for millenia. For some reason, we tend to feel a connection with turtles. However, this semblance of understanding has not protected them from being exploited by humans for profit.
If you are lucky enough to see a magnificent sea turtle, please enjoy it and marvel at it! Just keep your distance.