Sea turtles’ sojourns monitored

Sea turtles’ sojourns monitored

ÇANAKKALE - Anatolia News Agency
Sea turtles’ sojourns monitored

As part of the research, a total of seven turtles have been released into the Mediterranean sea. AA photo

The migration routes of Loggerhead Sea Turtles have been identified with research conducted by the Pamukkale University Sea Turtles Research Center (DEKAMER), who outfitted the turtles with satellite tracking systems on their shells.

Pamukkale University Biology Department members Professor Yakup Kaska and Eyüp Başkale, DEKAMER’s Meryem Tekin, Mücahit Seçme and Çisem Sezgin, as well as Italian researchers Fulvio Mafucci, Sandra Hochscheid and Flegra Bentivegna, created the project. 

In order to save the population of the endangered species and determine the proper protection methods, it was necessary to understand their migration routes, distribution, habitat and resource needs, Kaska said, adding that researchers conducted some monitoring work in the 1990’s to investigate the sea turtles’ ecology, behavior and physiology.

Loggerhead sea turtles, also known as Carretta Caretta turtles, spend most of their life traveling long distances between feeding and nesting areas. Kaska said that their goal was to determine the migration routes between these locations after reproduction. Additionally, it would compare the migration routes between male and female as well as wounded and healthy sea turtles.

Two turtle species

The satellite tracking program in the Mediterranean region revealed the “iribaş” and “green” Loggerhead turtles travel along the coasts of Turkey, Cyprus, Syria, Libya, Egypt and Tunisia, Kaska said. Research conducted around Akyatan beach on two “green” sea turtles outfitted with the tracking system was able to shed light on this migration pattern. “The first turtle reached Cyprus first and then Egypt and finally Libya’s Gulf of Sidra along the coastline. The second one traveled between Alanya and Manavgat,” he said.
“A total of seven sea turtles were released into the sea. Among them, two were treated by DEKAMER, three were taken from their nesting area and two were taken from the feeding areas. They were all attached with satellite tracking systems and released into the sea on Dalyan İztuzu beach,” Kaska said. 

Route and distance of turtles

The professor provided the following information about the turtles, their route and the distance they covered: the turtle named “Tuğçe Barış” started in Dalyan and covered a distance of 1233 kilometers through Fethiye, the Gaza Strip and the Western Bank. 

The turtle “Fethiye” covered a distance of 1233 kilometers through Dalyan, Fethiye Marmaris, Datça, Ano Symi Island, Kos Island, Bodrum and Didim. “Songül” traveled 7,853 kilometers through Dalyan, Rhodes Island, Crete Island and Tunisia. 

“Dalyan” traveled 482 kilometers through Dalyan, Marmaris and Bodrum. “Mersin Nazlı” covered a distance of 3,012 kilometers through Dalyan, Fethiye, El-Alameyn, El-Hemam and Alexandria. “Fethi” covered 802 kilometers through Dalyan, Dalaman, Göcek, Fethiye and Ölüdeniz. “İlker” covered 189 kilometers through Dalyan, Dalaman and Göcek.