Sea Turtles in El Nido: A Marine Marvel
El Nido’s waters host a delightful abundance of sea turtles, offering a unique spectacle during your dives. The marine protected status of Bacuit Bay has nurtured a thriving turtle population, enhancing your chances of encountering these remarkable creatures. The fearless demeanor of these turtles adds to the allure of your underwater exploration.
- Genus: Chelonioidea
- Depth: Can be found at depths of up to 1000 meters.
- Diet: Varies by species. Some are omnivores, consuming both plants and animals, while others favor sponges and jellyfish.
- Size: The Leatherback turtle, the largest species, can grow up to an impressive 1.8 meters.
- Lifespan: Approximately 80 years.
Diverse Sea Turtles - Fascinating Species
The Green Sea Turtle: This turtle frequently graces most of our dive sites. With its broad, smooth brownish-olive carapace, it ranks as the largest among hard-shell sea turtles. Reaching sizes of up to 1.5 meters and weighing around 300 kilograms, it’s an impressive sight. Named for its greenish fat hue, these turtles embark on extensive journeys between feeding grounds and their birthplace beaches.
The Hawksbill Sea Turtle: While relatively elusive, this species can also be found on our dive sites. Recognizable by its distinctive narrow head and hawk-like beak, it attains a smaller size, around 80 centimeters in length, and weighs approximately 70 kilograms. Its diet includes sponges, anemones, squid, and shrimp.
Endangered Status - A Grave Concern
Regrettably, all sea turtle species are classified as endangered, with the Hawksbill sea turtle listed as critically endangered. These magnificent creatures face threats due to the demand for their shells, eggs, meat, and skin.
Prime Turtle Spots in El Nido
Turtles grace many dive sites, but Nat Nat and Helicopter Island stand out as particularly promising locations.
Nat Nat: Home to Lolo, a majestic Green Sea Turtle, Nat Nat offers a mesmerizing sight. Lolo often seeks shelter under a rock or enjoys cleaner wrasse services, resembling a living dinosaur. A teenage green Sea Turtle occasionally accompanies Lolo in the background, creating a captivating spectacle.