Yesterday marked a significant milestone in the history of Mallorca as the island witnessed the first documented nesting of sea turtles. An extraordinary event unfolded when a loggerhead sea turtle, belonging to the Caretta caretta species, chose Can Pere Antoni beach in Palma as its nesting site and laid a remarkable total of 106 eggs. This unprecedented occurrence marks the first recorded instance of loggerhead turtle nesting in Mallorca.
Recognizing the importance of preserving these precious eggs, 46 of them have already been carefully transferred to LIMIA for artificial incubation, significantly enhancing their chances of successful hatching.
Climate change is exerting its influence on this delicate natural balance, prompting sea turtles to adapt to new conditions and search for nesting sites with more favorable temperatures to ensure the survival of their hatchlings. Furthermore, temperature plays a critical role in determining the gender of these hatchlings.
The remarkable tale began when a group of biologists attending the ASLO Aquatic Sciences Meeting 2023 decided to seize the opportunity for a midnight swim on the beach adjacent to their hotel. Little did they know that this spontaneous decision would lead them to bear witness to such a momentous event.
As the group of marine scientists and strolled along the sandy shore, their senses suddenly became heightened by an awe-inspiring sight. Just a few meters away from the water’s edge, they beheld the captivating spectacle of a loggerhead turtle, visibly exhausted, making its way back to the sea after laboriously depositing hundreds of eggs in a meticulously crafted nest in the sand.
The sight of this magnificent creature, visibly fatigued yet resilient, pausing briefly to gather strength before embarking on its final journey back to the sea, left an indelible impression on Alex Cabral, oceanographer and one of the marine scientists who was fortunate enough to capture this majestic spectacle.
Overwhelmed by this astounding discovery, Markus Olsson, another marine biologist within the group and the individual who reached out to us, hurriedly returned to the hotel, his mind buzzing with questions and an urgent desire for guidance on how to navigate such a unique situation. In his quest for information, Markus stumbled upon Mallorca Preservation and promptly contacted us, brimming with enthusiasm as he shared the astonishing news and sought our advice on the best course of action.
Encountering a sea turtle on the beach is undoubtedly a thrilling experience, given the nesting of loggerhead turtles in Mallorca. However, it is crucial to prioritize the protection of these remarkable creatures. To that end, here are some essential guidelines to follow if you ever come across sea turtles on the beach:
- Do not touch or disturb the turtle: Sea turtles are highly sensitive creatures, and any form of interference can disrupt their nesting process, causing potential harm.
- Maintain a safe distance: Ensure that no one approaches within a fifty-foot radius of the turtle to prevent causing stress or discomfort to the nesting turtle.
- Report the sighting: Immediately notify the emergency number 112 to report the sighting. This prompt action will facilitate the implementation of appropriate protocols to safeguard the turtles and their nests, ensuring their well-being.
By adhering to these guidelines, we can collectively contribute to the protection and preservation of these marvelous sea turtles, safeguarding their future and the ecological balance of our cherished natural environments.