We all love our dogs, and letting them run on the beach is one of the joys of living here, for both dogs and their humans. However, as TortuGuiones looks at the nesting patterns of turtles on Playa Pelada and Playa Guiones, it becomes clear that dogs dig up and eat 15% of sea turtle nests. Another 40% of nests are poached by humans. It’s easy to spot the difference: dogs leave claw marks and eggshells while poachers leave poke marks in the sand, a stick, and a hole.

In addition to harming turtles and their nests, domestic animals can harm native flora and fauna — which includes other dogs, as noted in recurring Facebook discussions.

If you bring a dog to the beach, keep your eye on it and intervene before it digs up nests or greenery. If you leave your dog on the beach while surfing, make sure someone else is supervising it, or put it on a leash at one of the many palapas.

Please do your part and spread the word.

This month, volunteers from the Global Leadership Adventures group helped TortuGuiones replace and repaint beach markers at Playa Pelada. The Guardianes de la Naturaleza program has just concluded the first month of the pilot in 12 schools. Teachers have already implemented a lot of the material from the manuals, and are reporting great feedback. The program has also received media attention in conjunction with Jessica Sheffield’s new book “La Guardiana y Sus Amigos Salvan el Rio”.

TortuGuiones is continuously accepting and training long-term volunteers, who learn about basic sea turtle biology and take morning walks on the beach to report sea turtle tracks and sightings. For more information, see TortuGuiones FB or tortuguiones.org.

NCA supports TortuGuiones as a part of our mission to preserve the beach we all love. If you’re not a member of NCA, please join us.