A loggerhead turtle nests on Isla Plana after 3 years of failed attempts by the species on the Murcian coast.

Loggerhead sea turtle identified by ‘Borgia’ successfully nested on Isla Plana
Staff at the El Valle Wildlife Recovery Centre have located 117 eggs. – REGIONAL GOVERNMENT

A loggerhead turtle, identified with the name ‘Borgia’ by the University of Valencia, managed to nest last night in Isla Plana, belonging to the municipality of Cartagena. This is the first nesting in the last three years, the previous ones were during the summer of 2020, in La Manga del Mar Menor (San Javier) and Cala Honda (Lorca), and in 2019, in Cala Arturo (Cartagena).

A private individual called 112 at around 00.15 hours and first thing this Tuesday morning, staff from the El Valle Wildlife Recovery Centre (CRFS) excavated and were able to verify that there were 117 eggs, according to sources from the regional government in a statement.

The Director General of Natural Environment, María Cruz Ferreira, gave some details and pointed out that “the nest was in an unsuitable area for it to complete its cycle, close to the shore and with a substrate of gravel and stones at the bottom, very hard to excavate. Therefore, we have decided that it is best to move the nest to another beach within the municipality, specifically to Calblanque, after agreeing the decision with the technicians of the City Council of Cartagena”.

Once all the eggs have been extracted from the nest, part of them will be taken to the CRFS for artificial incubation, and the rest will remain on the Calblanque beach.

In addition, volunteers from the associations that collaborate in ‘Territorio Tortuga’ in the Region of Murcia warned this Tuesday of turtle traces on the same beach where the eggs of the ‘Borgia’ turtle are going to be transferred. However, it has to be confirmed whether or not there is a nest.

The turtles hatched in the nests located in 2019 and 2020 (21 from Cala Arturo, 42 from La Manga and four from Cala Honda) were subjected to the ‘head-starting’ technique, which allows the temporary breeding in captivity of part of the hatchlings from each nest to increase their survival, after which a total of 67 turtles over 1 year old were reintroduced to the environment.

The Directorate General for the Natural Environment recommends that, in the event of seeing a sea turtle or its tracks, the most important thing is not to disturb the animal, stay out of its field of vision and do not take flash photos or dazzle the specimen, stay more than 20 metres away and avoid stepping on or erasing the tracks and locate a reference in the area before calling 112 to report what has happened and the location.

This work was carried out as part of a programme co-financed with ERDF funds.

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