Discovery of the first turtle nesting site of the season in Ramla l-Ħamra

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The first turtle nesting site of the season was found at Ramla l-Ħamra in Gozo early Tuesday morning.

Environment and Resources Authority officers have confirmed the turtle tracks, which were found by the Nature Trust rescue team, indicating a turtle may have nested in the area.

ERA staff and Nature Trust Malta confirmed that a turtle had laid her eggs. ERA said it will continue to support NTM and relevant stakeholders to ensure the nest is protected and an emergency conservation order will be issued.

“The general public is encouraged to act responsibly. Excessive noise, trampling and light near the nesting area can pose a threat to turtle eggs and hatchlings,” ERA said.

‘The area will be monitored 24/7 for the next two months, by Nature Trust volunteers in conjunction with ERA until hopefully we can see the precious hatchlings emerge’ , said the wildlife rescue team.

The loggerhead sea turtle (il-fekruna l-komuni), scientifically known as Caretta caretta, is a long-lived, slowly maturing marine species that inhabits tropical to warm temperate zones.

This species is classified as globally threatened by the World Conservation Area and is also protected by various national and international laws.

The capture, killing, capture and trade of these turtles, as well as the deliberate disturbance of these species, in particular during the period of reproduction, breeding and migration, are prohibited and subject to legal proceedings. Even destroying eggs or taking eggs from the wild is strictly prohibited and is a criminal offence.

National regulations on the protection of flora, fauna and natural environments impose a minimum fine of nearly €500 and up to nearly €2,400 for each egg destroyed or taken from the wild. The area where the loggerhead turtle laid its eggs is also a protected area under the Environmental Protection Act and a Natura 2000 site under the EU Habitats Directive.

Any sightings of turtle activity or environmental illegality should be immediately reported to ERA on 22923500 or [email protected] or at NTM.

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