Turtle conservation hits the SPOT in North Cyprus

Turtle conservation hits the SPOT in North Cyprus

Green and loggerhead turtle nest counts have increased by 162% and 46% respectively in less than two decades on North Cyprus in the Mediterranean. The increase has been achieved through preventing nests being raided by dogs and foxes, and protecting the beaches from tourism development. Conservation begun by enthusiasts in 1983 is now organized by local NGO, the Society for the Protection of Turtles (SPOT), in collaboration with scientists from the University of Exeter in the U.K. and the local Department of Environmental Protection. Many issues still impact the recovery of turtle populations: loggerheads are killed in fishing nets, while both species are affected by plastic pollution in a variety of ways. In May, female turtles will start emerging from the Mediterranean onto the shores of Turkey, Greece and Libya, as well as onto islands such as Cyprus, Crete and Sicily. They will crawl laboriously up the beaches to dig their nests and lay their eggs, continuing an annual miracle of evolution that has been taking place for more than 200 million years. On North Cyprus last year, just over 2,400 nests were recorded, an all-time high, and 10 times more than the number counted during the first proper […]

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