Cartagena’s Amoladeras beach hosts the first loggerhead sea turtle nesting attempts this summer in the region

Area cordoned off at Amoladeras Beach in Cartagena in front of the tracks of a species of loggerhead turtle, which only leaves the water to nest or try to do so.

The Amoladeras beach in Cartagena hosted this weekend the first attempts of loggerhead turtle nesting in the Region of Murcia this summer, as reported by sources of the Community in a press release.

The Emergency Coordination Centre received in the early hours of Sunday morning a warning from the beach cleaning service of the City of Cartagena reporting the sighting of a loggerhead turtle, which activated the Protocol for the Detection and Protection of Nesting Sea Turtles on the coast of the Region.

After this first warning, the beach cleaning staff identified three more sea turtle tracks between the beaches of Las Amoladeras and La Vieja Sirena, which were marked and guarded by the municipal staff until the arrival of the environmental agents.

Veterinarians from the Centro de Recuperación de Fauna Silvestre (CRFS) went to the area and, after analysing each of the four tracks and recording the measures established in the protocol, ruled out the existence of a nest in the area.

The turtle sighted was perfectly identified, as it is one of those that had been marked the previous week with a satellite signal emitter by technicians from the Polytechnic University of Valencia and Orihuela.

The Regional Ministry of the Environment, Mar Menor, Universities and Research reminds us that this is the nesting season for sea turtles and that in the coming days there could be new nesting attempts, so it is important to follow some recommendations.

Thus, if you come across a turtle on the beach, it is important to keep a safe distance of at least 20 metres, not to stand in front of its field of vision or dazzle it with torches, and to call ‘1-1-2’ as soon as possible to report its location.

Similarly, if turtle tracks are found on the beach, it is essential not to touch them and to call ‘1-1-2’. There may be eggs inside that need to be protected until they hatch.

The mating period for this species is from the end of March to the beginning of June, with nesting occurring between June and July. They have a marked philopatry and usually lay on the beach of birth. During this period, each female may lay two to four clutches at intervals of 15 to 17 days.

Nesting occurs at night and may take several attempts if the turtle does not find a suitable site or is disturbed. This is the only time in its life when a healthy turtle leaves the water.

In the six-year period between 2016 and 2022, a total of 28 nesting attempts have been rcorded on the beaches of the Region of Murcia. Of these, three were successful, one in 2019 (Cala Arturo) and two in 2020 (kilometre 14 of La Manga del Mar Menor and Cala Honda).

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