Caretta Caretta Turtles

Caretta Caretta Turtle

Since 1986 Turkey has taken steps towards the conservation of wildlife. Today there are 385,000 hectares of protected land in Turkey, 38,500 of which are in Dalyan. Within part of this area is the protected beach where the Loggerhead Turtle, (scientific name Carretta Carretta) come to nest. The Loggerhead Turtle is designated as threatened on the Federal Fish and Wildlife Endangered Species List. These Turtles with their large heads, (the name Loggerhead comes from the fact that they have oversized heads), and reddish brown shells come to Iztuzu beach to nest from May – September. They have yellowish to white undersides and can measure up to three – four feet in length. These Turtles are air-breathing Reptiles, which have a special gland that allows them to drink seawater. The waters in which they live are sub tropical with temperatures between 16 -20 degrees centigrade, usually in bays, estuaries, lagoons or the mouths of large rivers. In temperatures lower than this they become stunned and drift helplessly. The Loggerhead Turtle reaches maturity around 16 years of age; they can weigh between 150 and 300 pounds. Their diet consists mainly of Jellyfish, Molluscs and Crustaceans. The mating takes place a few weeks before the female lays her eggs. The Loggerhead Turtle usually returns to the beach where they themselves hatched. The sperm collected during mating will fertilise all of her clutches. The adult female may lay several clutches each season, usually she will lay eggs every two -three years, although some have been known to lay eggs every year. When the female lays her eggs, she seems to look like she is crying; she is in fact flushing out sand and excess salt from her eyes. (The salt is from the gland that enables her to drink seawater).

Comments are closed.