Agricultura, Pesca I Medi Natural informs about the hatching of sea turtles from the first nest registered in Mallorca

Aug 8, 2023 | Current affairs, Featured, Revista Lloseta, Thursday Daily Bulletin, Tradition

The sea turtle hatchlings from the nest of Can Pere Antoni (Palma) started to hatch this Sunday.

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Agricultura, Pesca i Medi Natura

The Conselleria de Agricultura, Pesca I Medi Natural, through the Species Protection Service of the Directorate General of Natural Areas and Biodiversity, and the Consortium for the Recovery of the Fauna of the Balearic Islands (COFIB), confirmed this morning that, during the day on Sunday and in the early hours of today, have been recorded the first hatchlings of sea turtles in the nest that was incubated on the beach of Can Pere Antoni since last June 7.

The General Director of Natural Environment, Anna Torres, wanted to personally thank all the organizations involved for their contribution to bringing this event to an end. She was also accompanied by the Councilor for the Environment of the Palma City Council, Llorenç Bauzà, Environmental Agents of the Government, representatives of the Natura Parc Foundation and the Palma Aquarium Foundation and volunteers who have ensured the safety of the nest. He also wanted to highlight the collaboration and responsibility of citizens in the preservation of the environment in these nests of catalogued and protected species that give added value to our marine ecosystems and the image of our beaches. As well as the task of the 42 volunteers who have worked during these weeks.

Anna Torres explained that “climate change is causing the behaviour of species to change, and this affects their migration and nesting. Thus, they are moving to areas that were not common in the past. In this sense, this type of turtle was never used to lay its eggs in the Balearic Islands. The first case was in 2019, in Eivissa”.

The beginning of hatchings took place this Sunday; specifically, the first one occurred at 11 am; the rest occurred from 9 pm and during this early morning. The volunteer team that guards the nest has been able to verify the presence of 12 sea turtle hatchlings that emerged from the sand, after 61 days since their laying last June 7 on the beach of Palma. These specimens have been transferred to the facilities of IRFAP-LIMIA, in Port d’Andratx, where the Marine Fauna Department of COFIB will be responsible for assessing their condition and their care and breeding until the time of their reintroduction to the sea.

The sea turtles born in the nests of the Balearic Islands will be part of the Head Starting program, in accordance with the national strategy of the species and in collaboration with other autonomous communities. This strategy consists of a breeding program in a controlled artificial environment for 10 to 12 months. Thanks to this program, the chances of survival of these animals, once they are returned to the sea, are exponentially increased.

4 active nests

It should be remembered that this is the first sea turtle nest that has been registered on the island of Mallorca and throughout the State during 2023, and the first of the 5 currently active nests that have been registered this 2023 season in the Balearic Islands. The other 4 nests are on the beach of Cala Millor, on the island of Mallorca, and on the beaches of Es Figueral, Santa Eulària des Riu and Salinas, on the island of Eivissa.

The entire nest care and management operation, as well as the care and rearing of the hatchlings, is directed by the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Natural Environment through the Marine Fauna Department of COFIB (Consortium for the Recovery of the Fauna of the Balearic Islands), which depends on the Species Protection Service.

The sea turtle Caretta caretta is a species listed as Vulnerable in the Spanish Catalogue of Threatened Species, which usually breeds in the eastern Mediterranean and has only begun to nest in the western Mediterranean at the beginning of the 21st century, most likely due to the increase in sea temperature.

Therefore, the maximum cooperation of all citizens is requested to preserve the nests. We are in the middle of the nesting season of this species and, consequently, it is likely that more nesting attempts will be recorded. In case of new attempts, it is necessary to call 112 immediately and do not disturb the animal to avoid a failed nesting.