Beaches empty, caretta carettas to lay eggs soon
The world-famous beaches of Antalya, the home of endangered caretta carettas, fell silent this year due to the coronavirus pandemic. As the weather gets warmer, the sea turtles are expected to go to the beach to lay eggs in adult nesting areas later this month.
People are prohibited from entering the beaches as the egg laying periods of caretta caretta type sea turtles, which are one of the endangered species in the world, will start soon.
Antalya’s Mediterranean beaches have nine important nesting beaches for loggerhead sea turtles and green sea turtles.
There are between 68 and 1,053 caretta carettas and between two and eight green new sea turtle hatchlings - egg laying areas - on the 29.3-kilometer beach in Belek.
The number of hatchlings is between 23 and 105 on the 3.2-kilometer Çıralı beach; 41 to 137 hatchlings on the 7.8-kilometer Alanya-Demirtaş beach; 14 to 53 hatchlings on the 6.8-kilometer Gaziapaşa beach; 39 to 109 hatchlings on the 8.5-kilometer Demre beach; 50 to 270 caretta caretta and three green sea turtle hatchlings on the 16.1-kilometer Manavgat-Kızılot beach; 75 and 305 caretta caretta and seven green sea turtle hatchlings on the 14-kilometer Kumluca beach; 35 and 127 caretta caretta and two green sea turtle hatchlings on the 14-kilometer Kaş-Patara beach and four to 23 on the 3.7 Kemer-Tekirova beach.
‘No significant threats right now’
Due to the lack of tourism, mobility on the beaches, many problems such as camping on the caretta beaches such as Çıralı, Olimpos, Belek, Boğazkent, Kundu and Patara, setting up tents, lighting fires, the sunbeds occupation of the hotels, and the lighting of hotels and summer houses have come to an end.
The Çıralı Coastal Protection Coordination Commission, which has been carrying out an exemplary study on the beaches of Çıralı and Olympos for about three years, has also completed its preparations for the caretta caretta season of 2020 to a great extent.
With the support of the 6th Regional Directorate of Nature Conservation and National Parks (DKMP), the chairman of the commission, Erdal Elginöz, said that they support the caretta caretta nesting works on Çıralı and Olympos beaches, as well as Tekirova, Beycik, Maden, Boncuklu bays and in the Mavikent region of Kumluca.
Explaining that the caretta carettas will start to go to the beach as of the end of April or the first week of May, Elginöz said that the coasts of Çıralı and Olympos have become more silent than ever before due to the ban on entry to the beaches.
Volunteers will not be able to come
Stating that all of the preparations were suspended within the scope of coronavirus measures, Elginöz said, “This year, a total of 10 people would have been assigned via the Turkish Employment Agency [İŞKUR], four from Kemer Municipality and six from the Kemer District Governorate.
The parking lot area in Çıralı was given to the use of the cooperative by the 6th Regional Directorate of DKMP for training and promotional activities. However, we don’t know what will happen within the scope of coronavirus measures. For example, this year volunteers will not be able to come here from various parts of Turkey.
There are 14 volunteers in Çıralı for works such as nesting and reporting.”