We all love some good news right now, and so in our Covid-centric world we are delighted to share the wonderful conclusion to a story many of our readers will have been following since the summer of last year.
Back in July 2019, turtles arrived and lay eggs on an Ibiza beach for the first time ever. It was a delight to have them, though their maternal instincts may have let them down in deciding to lay their eggs on Playa d’en Bossa, one of Ibiza’s busiest beaches, home to such party venues as Bora Bora, Ushuaia and the Hard Rock Hotel.
It was decided best for all concerned to move the eggs to Ibiza’s Marine preservation facilities in Sa Coma.
A total of 90 people helped in the round the clock monitoring of the eggs, and their efforts were rewarded when, of 58 eggs laid, 39 turtles were born two months later. Sadly two died soon after birth, and 9 have vision problems that mean they will stay in care until they are in a condition to release. However, after a year of a sheltered life in the centres indoor pools, yesterday marked the release into the sea of a total 26 turtles, now a year old and about the size of a Policeman’s hat. There is every chance these turtles will return to the Island to lay their own eggs in future years, and six of the turtles have radio collars allowing conservationists to monitor their progress and movements.
It seems Ibiza must have come onto the turtle map somehow, as after this first visit in 2019 another batch of eggs were laid by a new species of turtle on es Cavallet beach in August 2020.
Government scientists have no doubt why the turtles are visiting Ibiza, and also recently Menorca, for the first time. It is due to climate change and warmer waters in their traditional spawning beaches in the eastern Mediterranean. In warmer water the turtles give birth to 90% female offspring – they have to move to cooler waters for the survival of the species.