A total of 71 Turtles have hatched at Ramla l-Ħamra. This was ascertained yesterday evening after the Environment and Resources Authority (ERA), together with Nature Trust – FEE Malta (NTM) and volunteers opened the nest to document the results.
This operation was conducted following protective measures being implemented on site and constant monitoring after the nest was reported. Once the nest was opened, five healthy live turtles were found to be still present in the nest, these were immediately released to the sea.
ERA would like to thank NTM-Fee and volunteers for their hard work and dedication and 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.
8 September 2021