22 loggerhead turtles hatched from an unreported nest in Ramla l-Ħamra, Gozo. The hatchlings were discovered by the public who immediately informed Nature Trust Malta FEE last night.
The nest is close to last year’s nests in this bay, however no protection was provided as it was not reported hence raising fears of a low outcome of live hatchings.
ERA officers have erected a perimeter around the site and path to sea and constant monitoring will now continue until the nest is opened to ascertain the number of hatched and unhatched eggs.
ERA would like to thank NTM-Fee for the sterling job related to their role in the conservation of protected species. This work is possible through the ongoing collaboration between ERA and NTM. ERA funds NTM’s action on the rehabilitation and reintroduction of injured or stranded protected species and NTM volunteers play an invaluable role in these processes. ERA would like to thank these volunteers, as well as the members of the public who informed about the hatchlings.
ERA would also like to raise awareness on the importance of reporting any turtle nests so as to ensure the adequate protection and increase the chances of survival.
The loggerhead turtle (Maltese: il-fekruna l-komuni), scientifically known as Caretta caretta is a long-living, slowly maturing marine species that inhabits tropical to warm temperate areas. This species is classified as globally endangered by the World Conservation Area (IUCN) and is also protected by various national and international legislation. Capturing, killing, taking, and trading these turtles (including its hatchlings), as well as the deliberate disturbance of these species, particularly during the period of breeding, rearing and migration, is prohibited and subject to legal action. Even the destruction of eggs or taking of eggs from the wild is strictly prohibited and constitutes a criminal offence. In fact, the national ‘Flora, Fauna and Natural Habitats Protection Regulations’ impose a minimum fine of nearly €500 and going up to nearly €2400 for each egg that may be destroyed or taken from the wild. The area where the loggerhead turtles has laid its eggs is also a protected area under the Environment Protection Act (Cap. 549) and a Natura 2000 site through the EU Habitats Directive.
4 September 2021