By Andrew Atkinson
Fifteen endangered Tortuga Boba turtles have been released into the Mediterranean as part of the Turtle Conservation Campaign Territorio Tortuga.
The loggerhead turtles, which hatched in 2020 on the beaches of La Manga del Mar Menor, have returned to the sea after a year in captivity.
The turtles have been released after being at the IMIDA Marine Centre in San Pedro del Pinatar and the Oceanographic Foundation Centre in Valencia.
“After captive breeding in optimal and controlled conditions of temperature and feeding many reached a sufficient weight and development to be released with a higher chance of survival,” said Fulgencio Perona Director General of the Natural Environment.
The turtles were transferred to the Oceanographic, where they were sexed: “These turtles came from the second laying of the species documented in our region, which took place last summer on the beach of Ensemada del Esparto.
“Part of the clutch was transferred to the Centro de Recuperation de Fauna Silvestre de la Comunidad Autonoma El Valle for incubation, part of the Turtle Conservation Campaign Territorio Tortuga,” added Perona.
In 2019 Turtles released in the Mediterranean were hatched from first eggs-laying in a century in Murcia.
25 turtles had a personal ‘identification number’ placed on their shell, born after the historic spawning of a loggerhead turtle in Calblanque, in July 2019.
The El Valle Wildlife Recovery Centre looked after the quelonios, in facilities in the mountains of Murcia, it being the first nest of turtles in the Region of Murcia in over a century having been last documented that nesting was made in La Manga, in the late 19th century.
Sea turtles historically return to the place where they were born – to lay their eggs – scientifically known as phylopatry.
Turtles’ eggs are taken to the IMIDA tanks, at the Murcian Institute of Agricultural and Food Research and Development, in San Pedro del Pinatar, to start the captive breeding process at the Centre of Marine Resources, prior to being released into the Mediterranean.
Caption: 15 Tortuga Boba turtles released into Mediterranean.