Record number of turtles reach sea in Turkey

Record number of turtles reach sea in Turkey

Record number of turtles reach sea in Turkey

Over 199,000, the highest number to date, loggerhead turtle hatchlings have reached the sea in specially protected environmental areas of Turkey, according to officials.

With the novel coronavirus outbreak that caused people to stay indoors as part of measures to curb the virus spread, the number of Caretta caretta nests doubled in coastal areas, officials from Environment and Urbanization Ministry’s Protection of Natural Heritage Directorate told the state-run Anadolu Agency.

This year, a total of 199,096 hatchlings made it to the sea from 4,785 nests in the five special protection areas, where sea turtles are being monitored and protected by the directorate.

There are a total of 22 nesting spots in Turkey, including the five protected ones; Belek, Patara, Köyceğiz-Dalyan, Fethiye-Göcek and Göksu Delta in the Aegean and Mediterranean regions.

According to the latest figures of the ministry, over 84,000 hatchlings reached the sea from 2,105 nests in 2018 and nearly 94,000 hatchlings from 2,266 nests in 2019.

After a 45 to 65-day-long incubation period, hatchlings try to reach the sea by following the moonlight, but artificial light often makes them lose their way, and they could die.