Can Pere Antoni beach, the scene of the first sea turtle laying recorded in Mallorca

Jun 9, 2023 | Current affairs, Featured, Revista Lloseta, Thursday Daily Bulletin, Tradition

The acting councillor for the Environment and Territory, Miquel Mir, announced on Thursday that the Species Protection Service and the COFIB confirmed the first clutch of sea turtle (Caretta caretta) eggs recorded on the island of Mallorca this morning.

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Can Pere Antoni beach

Mir explained that the nest was laid on the beach of Can Pere Antoni, in Palma, and contains 106 eggs, 26 of which have already been transferred to the Marine Research and Aquaculture Laboratory (LIMIA) of the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, where they will be treated with artificial incubation, thus increasing the guarantees of hatching. The remaining 80 will remain, for the time being, in the nest, which has been perimeter by the Environment Agents, until the technicians certify the viability of their remaining there during the incubation period, which lasts between 45 and 60 days.

The councillor pointed out that the nest was detected thanks to a tip-off from a member of the public at midnight, which enabled the technical protocol to be activated, verifying the existence of the nest and quantifying the eggs. In this sense, he insisted on the need that “if a turtle is spotted on a beach, no one should touch it or come within fifteen metres”. The COFIB adds that they should not be photographed with a flash and that 112 should be called immediately so that the action protocol can be implemented. They also ask for maximum caution and prudence when publicising this type of event through social networks to ensure that the protection tasks are carried out under the least possible pressure.

Finally, Mir reminded the public that the Caretta caretta is a species classified as Vulnerable and, therefore, called for the cooperation of all citizens to preserve the nest. He also pointed out that this is a species that usually breeds in the eastern Mediterranean and that it was not until the beginning of the 21st century that it began to nest in the western Mediterranean, most probably due to the increase in sea temperature. “It is, therefore, a new environmental challenge that comes to us because of the climatic emergency we are suffering,” he added.

The COFIB’s marine fauna coordinator, Guillem Félix, pointed out that “we are right at the beginning of the breeding season for this species and, therefore, it is likely that more nesting attempts will be recorded, either by this same specimen or others”. In fact, the one at Can Pere Antoni is the first nesting episode recorded this year in Spain and, in this sense, he insisted, given the likelihood of new attempts, on the need to notify 112 immediately and not to disturb the animal and prevent the clutch from being unsuccessful.

This is the sixth clutch recorded in the Balearic Islands. Of these, three have taken place in Menorca and the other two in Eivissa.