Our Neighborhood's Biodiversity Map

* Please click the continent to see the endangered species of our neighborhood.
Europe
Loggerhead sea turtle * To See the original image, please click the image
Shared by : Konstantinos- Eirinaios Tsiampouris (Greece)
Region : Greece
Status : Vulnerable
Introduction
Caretta caretta is a primitive species. It usually reaches 90cm length. However, a Caretta caretta of 2.80m length has been discovered. Its weight usually lies between 135 and 480kg. Furthermore, is one of the seven species of sea turtle and has a lifespan of 80 years on average. Caretta caretta babies come out of their eggs, which are hidden deep in the sand, around 60cm, usually during the nights or early in the morning, and instinctively head to the sea, which is the brightest place, at that time of the day. However, if any other strong lights are around them, they lose their orientation and eventually die. Also, they are being hunted by crabs, gulls, and fishes and also by human activity. Only about one in a thousand achieves to get to the sea and reach adulthood.



Finally, if a turtle survives, it turns back after some decades to the beach where she was born in order to lay its eggs and allows its species to survive through the years. For this reason, the protection of the coasts where such eggs are found is essential. Caretta caretta is found in Greece from ancient years, and it is a favorite subject found in ancient coins.



In Greece we have some of the most important beaches for the reproduction of Caretta caretta in the Mediterranean Sea. Unfortunately, the conservation status, according to "IUCN Red List of Threatened Species", of Caretta caretta is Endangered (EN), which means that there is a high risk of extinction in the wild. One the most critical threats in Greece is the touristic development of coasts where caretta eggs are found and the placement of several constructions over the sand. Also, the climate change threatens all ecosystems, including the coasts mentioned above. Another problem is the phenomenon of mass fishing tools, provoking great injuries to sea turtles. The Center of Rescuing Sea Turtles in Greece suggests that 80% of sea turtles have suffered injuries because of human activity. The refuse thrown into the sea and more specifically the plastic bags may lead to death sea turtles as they mistake them for jellyfishes, and swallow them. In Zakinthos, the beach "Sekania" of length 550m is the greatest coast where Caretta caretta leaves its eggs in the whole Mediterranean Sea, as every year 500-1000 new nests are created. Kiparissia is another popular coast of Caretta caretta nests.
Organisations such as WWF (http://www.wwf.gr/en) and ARCHELON (http://www.archelon.gr/index_eng.php) with the support of other environmental and local organizations have tried to protect these coasts with satisfactory results. However, it is essential that we combat this problem before Caretta caretta extinct.



Where Caretta caretta, Monachus monachus, Gypaetous barbatus live and reproduce (in red)

Sources :
http://www.wwf.gr/el/endangered-species/caretta
http://www.archelon.gr/index_eng.php
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caretta_caretta

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