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Sea turtle



Dermochelys coriacea, Eretmochelys imbricata, Lepidochelys kempii, Lepidochelys olivacea, Chelonia mydas, Caretta caretta, Natator depressus



25-50 years



Open oceans, coastal habitats, especially tropical and temperate regions.



Indian Ocean, Atlantic Ocean, Pacific Ocean, Caribbean, Mediterranean



7 species of sea turtle are on the Annex 1 List of the Convention on Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) and their trade is prohibited. All but Natator depressus are on the World Conservation Union (IUCN) Red List and their descendants are threatened to varying degrees. ,


Nesting beaches in Turkey:

It determined on the Mediterranean coast of Turkey and has 21 nesting beaches officially adopted. These beaches from west to east are as follows:

MUĞLA: Ekincik, Dalyan, Dalaman, Fethiye

ANTALYA: Belek, Boğazkent, Kadriye, Patara, Castle, Kumluca, Çıralı, Tekirova,, Kızılot, Demirtaş, Gazipaşa

MERSİN: Anamur, Göksu Delta, Alata, Kazanlı, Davultepe

HATAY: Akyatan, Yumurtalık (Adana) and Samandağ


They have been living in the world's oceans and seas for over 100 million years.

Seven species of sea turtles live in the world, five of which can be seen in the Mediterranean.

However, only two of them (CarettaCaretta and Cheloniamydas) nest regularly in the Mediterranean.




Tadpole Sea Turtle, which is known to nest two in Turkey and the Mediterranean sea turtle species Sea Turtles Tadpole, one lives in the world's tropical and subtropical regions. The population of the species, which is estimated to nest around 60,000 females worldwide, is endangered by human-induced reasons. It is estimated that around 2,000 females nest in the Mediterranean.




Green Sea Turtle, other species nesting green sea turtles in Turkey and the Mediterranean. Its distribution areas are again tropical and subtropic regions. It is the only herbivorous species among sea turtles and is of great importance for healthy seas. In terms of the most important nesting beaches for sea turtle species it is not known until the tadpole populations in Turkey Mediterranean Turkey.




The Leatherback Sea Turtle is one of the largest reptiles on Earth. It can reach 3 meters in length and reach 900 kg in weight. It happens that it is also called the "champion" as the turtle that dives the deepest and covers the greatest distances. It is distinguished from other species due to the structure of the shell and the skin covered. Although it is seen in the Mediterranean, there is no record of making a nest.




The Hawk Beaked Sea Turtle is another type of hawk-billed sea turtle found in the Mediterranean. The Red Sea, Oman and North Australian beaches are the places where the most nesting is seen. However, they spread to America. Feeding on marine sponges and corals, this species is important for healthy coral reefs. There is no nesting record in the Mediterranean.





(Day Nesting Sea Turtle)

The Day Nesting Sea Turtle is the most endangered species of all sea turtles. The most important nesting sites are in the Gulf of Mexico. It is the smallest sea turtle species. It is a type of mass nesting called Arribada. They nest during the day and their offspring leave the nest during the day. It is named after a fisherman named Richard M. Kemp, who brought his first sample in 1906.



(Olive Green Sea Turtle)

The Olive Green Sea Turtle is named after the famous HN Ridley FRS living in Brazil in 1887 and its olive green color. It occurs in the Pacific, Atlantic and Indian oceans. The northwest population is thought to have declined by 80% since the 1970s. Although it has a stable population in other regions, it is endangered. One of the biggest problems is the capture of a large number of individuals every year due to trawl hunting.



(Flat Shell Sea Turtle)


Flat Shell Sea Turtle got this name because of its flat shell. It occurs in coral reefs and sea meadows in the north of Australia and between Papau New Guinea. There is little information about its population.




Although the offspring of the tadpole sea turtle (Caretta caretta) and Green sea turtle (Chelonia mydas) feed on plankton and small insects, as they grow up, Caretta is fed with carnivorous and Chelonia is herbivorous. The first group is insects and plankton (ants, flies, plant locusts and small aquatic creatures and fish eggs), the second group is marine animals (crabs, fish, shellfish, mussels, jellyfish) and the last group is marine plants (sargassum- plants such as sea algae, sea lettuce). It is possible to search the feeding environments and migration routes with a satellite transmitter device attached to the back of the turtle. In this context, a female sea turtle observed from Italy came to Bodrum (Muğla). This and similar studies are in great need in our country.







Most reptiles do not have a sex chromosome. Therefore, temperature, hormonal difference and sexual difference occur. Gender is determined in the middle 1/3 of the incubation period during embryonic development (such as between 20-40 days of the 60-day incubation period). The sex of the offspring is determined according to the temperature during this period. Around 32 ºC all female, around 26 ºC all male and around 29 ºC cause half of the female and half to be male.







  1. Sea turtles come back to nest on the beaches where they were born.

  2. nesting beach in Turkey two (2) types are sea turtles. Among these, the Iribaş sea turtle (Caretta caretta) is carnivorous, and the green sea turtle (Chelonia mydas) is herbivorous.

  3. While C. caretta can roam at depths of 200m in the sea, C.mydas, on the other hand, is herbivorous and travels and feeds at depths of 20-50m.

  4. These species can stay under the sea for 20-25 minutes without breathing on average.

  5. Their gender is determined according to the temperature of the nest. At high temperature (32 ° C) female individuals appear, at low temperature (26 ° C) male individuals.

  6. On the beach, C. caretta burrows 50-60 cm deep and C.mydas burrows when it is 90-100 cm deep. They lay 50-150 eggs the size of a ping-pong ball in these nests they open with their rear members.

  7. The hatching period of the offspring from the eggs (incubation period) takes 45-65 days.

  8. Cubs instinctively act on signs such as the glow of the sea, the reflection of the moon, the vibration of the waves, and the white foam. However, if there is a stronger light source in the background of the beach, they turn to the wrong direction, namely the land. This causes them to die.

  9. They reach sexual maturity in about 25-30 years and only 3-5 puppies can reach maturity from every 1000 puppies.

  10. It has no teeth. They have very strong jaws and a saw-like palate.

  11. It breaks down prey, such as crabs and fish, and provides food to other creatures with parts outside of its mouth.

  12. The creatures that feed the most with jellyfish are sea turtles, and sometimes they drown because they eat the sachets in the sea because they resemble them.





Only two species of sea turtles nest and live permanently in the Mediterranean Sea, the Taurus Sea Turtle and the Green Sea Turtle. Both are relatively easily distinguished. The tadpole Sea Turtle has five side plates on its shell, while the Green Sea Turtle has only four side plates. While it's a little hard to imagine if you've never seen either species, the Tadpole Sea Turtle has a large and sturdy head, hence the name İribaş. The Green Sea turtle's head is relatively thin. Both can grow until their shells reach 120 cm in length. The third type of sea turtle that can be seen from time to time in the Mediterranean is the Leatherback Sea Turtle. It is completely different from the leatherback "normal" turtles. It has a dark, soft, leathery shell with five protrusions. The Leatherback Sea Turtle is the largest sea turtle and can grow over 2 meters.







In the Mediterranean, almost all the slots in the eastern basin of this kind, particularly Greece, Libya, Turkey and Cyprus and to a lesser extent, Lebanon, located in other countries such as Israel and Tunisia. Approximately 7200 clutches (signs) are placed on the beaches monitored in the above countries. Genetic studies have shown that females have a population (population) infrastructure in the Mediterranean due to host behavior showing some degree of fidelity to their birth zone.

In general, carettacaretta turtles feed frequently in open waters and close to the sea surface throughout their lives; then they tend to go to shallower waters on continental shelves where they can feed on seafloor prey.







In general, sea turtles are threatened by a large number of human activities, both on land and at sea, making their protection a major challenge.

1. People hunt sea turtles to meet their food needs

2. Hunting for tourism purposes (to be used as ornaments)

3.Destruction of nesting areas

4. Environmental pollution in the seas






The dangers that can be prevented on the beach include night visits by people to the beaches, vehicle traffic and the destruction of eggs with umbrellas, lighting seen from the beach, improper structuring and harmful predation.

However, specific protection measures specific to beaches should be specified. The measures that can be taken for protection can be banned from the beach during the breeding season, or the people of that region can be trained in terms of lighting and the use of sunbeds and umbrellas on the beach, lighting should be screened or afforestation should be made that can block the way. In addition, the use of high wavelength (red, yellow) or low pressure sodium lamps should be provided, wrong structuring should be prevented on the beaches, and control of the destruction of the nest (cage, displacement) can be done. However, harmful activities in the sea should be controlled to protect sea turtles, where around 3% can mature and only 1 out of 1000 eggs reach 50 years of age. No matter how controlled it is, a center should be established where injured and sick sea turtles can be treated.




By screening the lights seen from the beach,

Not using light at night on the beach,

By not lighting a fire on the beach,

Not using umbrellas or sunbeds in the spawning area,

Not leaving items on the spawning band at night,

By preventing pets from entering the nesting beaches,

By preventing taking sand from the beaches and digging,

Not entering the beach with motor vehicles,

By not leaving litter on the beach and sea,

Using speedboats at least 1 mile offshore,

By helping the turtles to survive when the net is caught in fishing line or fishing hooks.

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