This year has seen the highest number of the endangered caretta caretta seaturtles to nest on Patara Beach in Antalya's Kas district. There was a grand total of 286 nests, which has been reported as the highest number of all time.
The turtles made their way over to the beach at the beginning of May to lay their eggs, this lasted until August, then on September 15th the baby seaturtles hatched. In the 286 nests there was 21,821 eggs laid, 17,421 of the eggs hatched and a total of 17,323 baby seaturtles made it out to sea.
Professor Eyup Baskale of the Pamukkale Univeristy Biology Department rounded up a team of volunteers to clean up any rubbish that had been left on Patara Beach to make it a safe environment for the seaturtles. After all nests were formed the group of volunteers then caged off all the nests for protection. Signs state that Patara Beach is closed off to the public between the hours of 8pm and 8am as this is the seaturtles nesting time.
The Professor stated that as well as this year being the highest number of nests laid it has also been the highest number of baby turtles to reach the sea after hatching compared to previous years.
It has been reported that Professor Baskale has done research on the causes of death of the seaturtles. While natural causes such as sand erosion and sand storms can cause problems, the Professor has stated that the majority of causes of death are through boat crashes and fishing activities.
The future of the caretta caretta seaturtle is very positive when looking at this year's numbers. Some studies were also carried out to determine the gender of the baby turtles and results show that 70 percent are female which is another positive sign for the population of this endangered species.
Source: Hurriyet Daily News