Sea Turtles for NEON – by Daryl Peveto

NEON sea turtle

Two-day-old baby leatherback sea turtles swim in a salt water pool at Campamento Tortuguera.

Ventura, California-based freelancer and member of LUCEO Images Daryl Peveto shot a story about the endangered leatherback sea turtles near Acapulco, Mexico.

Leatherback turtles are one of the most endangered species on earth, due mostly to human activity. Over development of nesting grounds, pollution of the oceans, fishing nets are just a few of the indirect way mankind has affected their populations. The most direct though is the illegal collecting of their eggs for food. In Mexico it is ancient lore that because the turtles mate for up to 18 hours, eating their eggs will produce enhanced stamina for men. The irony here is that the mating ritual including courtship takes up to 18 hours, mating itself takes only a few seconds.

Last month, writer Jakob Schrenk and I spent several days just outside Acapulco for NEON Magazine looking at the interaction of these turtles and their human counterparts. There are those trying to save the turtles, such as organizations like Campamento Tortuguero just south of Acapulco, and those that are still collecting and selling the eggs for food even though it is illegal. There are also the economic conditions that make both possible. The divide between the very rich and the very poor is great in most of Mexico.

Continue reading and see more photos of the story on the LUCEO blog.

NEON sea turtle

A mother leatherback heads back into the ocean after just giving birth.

NEON sea turtle

Baby leatherback turtles having just hatched a few minutes before climb out of their nest in the sand

NEON sea turtle

The layout in NEON.

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