Antalya breaks 30-year sea turtle nesting record

Antalya breaks 30-year sea turtle nesting record

Antalya breaks 30-year sea turtle nesting record

Çıralı beach in the southern province of Antalya has shattered a 30-year sea turtle nesting record, marking a significant achievement in conservation efforts.

The beach, renowned as one of Europe's top 10, saw its 153rd nest this season, surpassing the previous high of 151 nests set in 2018.

The nesting season for the endangered Caretta caretta and Chelonia mydas species, listed by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), is in full swing along Türkiye's Mediterranean coast. Çıralı, one of 22 Turkish nesting sites, has experienced a surge in turtle activity with volunteers and tourists witnessing the record-breaking event.

The milestone comes as part of ongoing protection and monitoring activities initiated by volunteers in 1994 and bolstered by the formation of the S.S. Ulupınar Environmental Protection and Development Cooperative in 2000. This year's record was achieved through the diligent efforts of volunteers who patrol the beach nightly to safeguard the nests.

At dawn, volunteers opened the first nest, number seven, with local and international tourists in attendance. The discovery of the 153rd nest soon followed, marking a historic moment for the conservation team.

Veteran volunteer Mustafa Ilgaz expressed his joy at the milestone. "The hatchlings we first protected are now returning as mothers to lay their eggs. I urge everyone to avoid the beach at night and not disturb the nests. Following these rules is the greatest support they can give us," he said.