In accordance with the “Regulation on rules and procedures for allowing prohibited activities related to flora and fauna to be carried out for scientific research, conservation, public health and safety purposes”, prepared by the Environmental Protection Department of the Deputy Prime Ministry, Ministry of Tourism and Environment. Applications submitted by universities/institutions to our Department for the purpose of “monitoring sea turtles and conducting scientific research” were evaluated.
Accordingly, in 2021, sea turtle monitoring and research studies were carried out by the Mediterranean and Alagadi beaches SPOT (Northern Cyprus Turtle Conservation Society) and Famagusta Bay EMU Underwater Research Center in cooperation with Karşıyaka and Karpaz coasts Taşkent Nature Park and Humboldt University.
With the study carried out on the Karpaz Peninsula, a total of 855 green sea turtles and 13 tadpole sea turtle nests were identified.
Scientific studies report the number of tadpole sea turtle nests as 8,179 and the number of green sea turtles as 2,204 in the Mediterranean Sea Turtle Management Region (Casale et al., 2018), (Tashkent Nature Park Report-2021).
The ratios of the nests found in the Karpaz to the number of nests in the Mediterranean were calculated as 38.7% and 0.16% for the green sea turtle and the large-headed sea turtle, respectively. This situation reveals once again the importance of the Karpaz Peninsula for the breeding population of green sea turtles in the Mediterranean (Tashkent Nature Park Report-2021).
The number of nests detected in the Karpaz in 2020 was 1162 Chelonia mydas and 27 Caretta caretta.
As a result of the studies carried out in 2021, a total of 46 nests were found on Karşıyaka Beach, including 42 tadpole sea turtles and 4 green sea turtles. 3 of these nests were flooded and 10 nests were partially or completely predated. 32 of the nests were moved in case of possible flooding.
In 2020, 81 Caretta caretta and 3 Chelonia mydas nests were recorded for Karşıyaka beach.
In 2021, a total of 1488 nests were detected on the beaches of Alagadi and the Mediterranean. The species belonging to 582 Chelonia mydas, 782 Caretta caretta, 124 could not be determined. In 2020, 455 green turtles and 241 Caretta caretta nests were detected on the same beaches (Alagadi and Mediterranean).
Famagusta Bay In 2021, 366 Caretta caretta and 2 Chelonia mydas nests were recorded.
In 2020, 191 Caretta caretta nests were detected on the same beach.
Sea turtle nesting beaches are covered by the biodiversity network established by the Environment Act.
Between May and October, which is the sea turtle nesting season, some rules determined by the Environmental Protection Department should be followed on the beaches used by sea turtles.
- Do not plant an umbrella within 35 meters from the sea, do not dig the beach.
- Block out the lights visible from the beach.
- Do not leave items/trash on the beach.
- Do not speed over 5 mph by boat, etc., within 1 mile of shoreline.
- Do not enter the beach with a motor vehicle.
- Do not walk on the beach with light at night.
- Do not leave your pets unattended on the beach.
- Do not light a fire on the beach.
Sea turtles make their nests on the beaches from May until mid-July.
An average of 100 eggs in a nest. At the end of the incubation period of about 2 months, the hatchlings head towards the sea with the first light of the morning. Approximately 3% of the hatchlings that hatch and reach the sea become adults (about 25 years) and have the chance to come to the beach where they were born and lay eggs. They are therefore classified as endangered species by the IUCN World Conservation Union.
There are Tashkent Nature Park Rehabilitation Center and Meritta Sea Turtles Rehabilitation Center for injured sea turtles in our country’s seas.
We must adopt sustainable development and green energy approaches in order for the creatures living in our world to continue their generations. Zero waste campaigns should be adopted to reduce plastic pollution in the seas, ecosystem restoration should be adopted as a principle for biodiversity strategy, we should protect our carbon-separating forests and expand their areas for adaptation to climate change.
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