The endangered turtle species Caretta Caretta have started laying eggs in the İztuzu coast of Turkey which is their natural habitat...
The Carettas have come back to the İztuzu coast again this year and have started laying their eggs. The eggs that are laid in the sand in a depth of around 50 centimetres mature within two months with the heat of the sand. The sands heat also determines the gender of the turtle. The baby turtles who can amble towards the sea and reach it start a life that lasts a few hundred years. The 15-20 metre stretch from where the eggs are laid and the sea is hazardous for the baby turtles as they are liable to fall prey to many predators including foxes, jackals, crabs and some bird species.
The baby turtles instinctively rush towards the glimmer of the sea at night. If there are artificial lights in the area, though, the turtles move towards these lights by mistake. The Iztuzu beach is therefore darkened during the hatching period. This is undertaken by the Special Environmental Protection Body whose 8 officials keep a strict 24 hour vigil to enable the baby turtles safe passage to the sea.
Some volunteer environmentalist organisations from universities also camp in the area to watch this time honoured ritual of the Caretta Carettas. Iztuzu beach is one of the seventeen hatching areas for Carettas along the 7 kilometre stretch of beach between Gökova and Alanya in Southern Turkey.
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