Years of marine conservation efforts throughout the Mediterranean are beginning to pay dividends in Tunisia , with activists expecting a further increase in the number of sea turtles visiting the country’s beaches to build their nests this year. It’s an unlikely, albeit fragile, victory. Many of the factors that pushed sea turtles on to the world’s endangered list are still present and continue to threaten the survival of the species. However, activists monitoring sea-turtle nests on Kuriat Island, a vital nesting ground, have reported an increase in nests from 11, when they first started monitoring in 1997, to more than 40 annually. “Sea turtles are what we call a keystone species,” says Jamel Jrijer, a marine project manager at the WWF’s offices in Tunis. “That’s to say, they play a critical role in making the marine environment what it is.” Of the three species of sea turtle – green, leatherback and loggerhead – that are encountered in Tunisian waters, it is only the loggerhead that nests here. It lays its eggs at just a tiny number of sites, with Kuriat Island near Monastir, a popular destination for day trippers, being the most important. A loggerhead sea turtle in the […]


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