First baby Caretta hatched after nesting works
MUĞLA – Demirören News Agency
Following the nesting process of endangered Caretta caretta, which started at the end of May, the first baby Caretta has hatched from its egg in the southwestern province of Muğla’s İztuzu beach on July 13.
“Near 20 baby Carettas have reached the sea, considering the tracks on the beach and nests continue to form,” said Yakup Kaska, the head of Sea Turtles Research, Rescue and Rehabilitation Center (DEKAMER).
“The nest in which the first baby Caretta has hatched, was the third nest formed on the beach,” Kaska said. “There may be changes of a few days depending on the temperature differences in the nest exits.”
Kaska also urged both holidaymakers and businesses in the region. “It is necessary to turn off the lights of the businesses on the beach or turn them into red lights if possible.”
If the baby Caretta mistook the colors other than red for sunlight and turned to land instead of the sea, it can cause their death, Kaska noted.
It is not right to dig the beach and take it to the sea to help them get out of their nests, according to Kaska.
“When the turtle hatches, both the smell of blood and food remains on it. If they are not cleaned by crawling on the beach, they will become food for the fish as soon as they enter the sea,” he said.
The total number of nests in Muğla’s Dalyan, Fethiye and Sarıgeme districts has reached 490, according to DEKAMER.
“Nest protection activities within the framework of the project, supported by the General Directorate for Protection of Natural Assets, are carried out every year,” Kaska added.
After a 45 to 65-day incubation period, hatchlings try to reach the sea by following the moonlight as streetlamps get turned off along the shoreline during the hatching season.
Activists and officials are also on guard to ensure a safe passage for turtles whose nesting grounds are occasionally threatened by beachgoers unaware of their presence.