It’s that time of year, when the wonderful season of turtle nesting comes to North Cyprus! Every year, both Green and Loggerhead turtles come to mate and nest on the beaches of the coastline in their hundreds, and it is a place of much activity. There are now many groups involved in ensuring that the turtles are protected and their young have the best chance of survival. The nesting season generally runs from May to October every year.
Turtles can lay nests of up to 100 eggs, digging deep holes in the sand to bury their eggs. They then cover them up and return to the sea, leaving the eggs to incubate and hatch of their own accord. Turtles also return to the same place year after year, only maturing to lay their eggs from the age of 20. The life of a turtle is a long one!
There are several large beach areas that are constantly monitored each year, Akdeniz and Karsiyaka along the northeast coast and Alagadi and Karpaz along the northwest coasts. Nowadays you can experience some of the nesting season for yourselves, with evening excavations to help the hatchlings on their way and you can help get them into the sea too!
There are various groups working very hard during the intensely hot summers, who you can join. Here are some of the Facebook groups you can check out to see when you can join them:
If you are exploring the beaches of North Cyprus, you may well see mesh structures dotted along the beaches, which means they are there to protect nests. Please abide by the following during summer :
- Do NOT go to the beach area between 8pm and 8am during breeding season.
- Do NOT use ANY boat or jet-ski in the 2 mile radius of the protected beach area.
- Do NOT throw plastic bags or bottles and any litter or any food on the beach or in the sea.
- Do NOT dig or use beach umbrellas or sun beds near turtle nests.
- Do NOT bring dogs or any animals onto the beach.
- Do NOT light fires on the beach.
- Do NOT touch baby turtles for your own safety as they may carry salmonella.
For more information on the turtle nesting season in North Cyprus, check out this article out from our friends at Essential Cyprus!