It was the first time in 9 years on the Patara coast, which is also the nesting area of endangered caretta caretta and chelonia mydas (green sea turtle) sea turtles. The green sea turtle, which nested on the beach only 3-4 times in the last 30 years, came back to Patara beach after 9 years.
Turkey’s Mediterranean coasts are the most important nesting areas for the sea turtle species caretta caretta and green sea turtle on the red list of the World Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).
Both the Ministry of Environment and Urbanization, the General Directorate of Nature and National Parks, and groups of academics and volunteers from many universities closely monitor the process of the hatchlings reaching the sea by identifying and protecting the nests of these turtles one by one during the summer season on the Mediterranean coast.
FIRST AFTER 9 YEARS
Pamukkale University Biology Department Prof. Dr. The team headed by Eyüp Başkale has been carrying out efforts to protect sea turtles on Patara beach in Kaş district for 3 years.
There was also a surprise this year on Patara beach, one of the most important nesting areas for sea turtles on the Mediterranean coast. After 9 years on the beach, the green sea turtle came back and made a nest.
The adult female tortoise, 90 cm tall, aged 65-70 years, was photographed by Pamukkale University doctoral student, expert biologist Ayfer Şirin.
“ONLY 3-4 SLOTS IN 30 YEARS”
prof. Dr. Baskale stated that the green sea turtle, which made only 3-4 nests in Patara in the last 30 years, came back to Patara beach after 9 years.
“There are two species of sea turtles nesting on Mediterranean beaches in Turkey. One of them, the widely known caretta caretta, uses many of our country’s beaches in the Mediterranean. Chelonia mydas, on the other hand, is a sea turtle species that only uses eastern beaches and prefers warmer waters. If we compare the endangered status of the two species, caretta caretta is among the sensitive species, but chelonia mydas is a more sensitive species than the caretta caretta. Especially for the green sea turtle, Turkey’s Mediterranean beaches are the most important nesting beach in the entire Mediterranean.”
THEY CHOOSE THE WARM SEA
Explaining that green sea turtles prefer warmer seas, Prof. Dr. Başkale said, “Sometimes he can use the west coast. The recent reason for this green sea turtle to nest on Patara beach may be the animals’ attempt to gradually choose more suitable areas due to global warming. Their genders also change depending on the temperature. Incubation, that is, they hatch from the eggs they lay in their nests in an average of 2 months. If the temperature value is high between the 20th and 40th days, female individuals are formed, and if it is low, male individuals are formed.
NUMBER OF SLOTS IS HIGHER THAN LAST YEAR
Explaining that the first caretta caretta nest was formed on the beach of Patara on the night of 22-23 May this year, Prof. Dr. Başkale announced that the number of slots has exceeded 250 in the process so far. Stating that the total number of nests last year was 434, Başkale said, when we compare them numerically with last year, the number of nests in the same period is higher this year.”
The opinions expressed herein are the author’s and not necessarily those of News2Sea.
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