Two sea turtle nests in Ammes

The morning survey team on Ammes beach
The second nest was laid in a good location, near the back of the beach and away from the sunbeds.

Wildlife Sense volunteers were pleasantly surprised this Sunday when they surveyed Ammes beach for sea turtle nesting activity; they found two sea turtle tracks on the beach, and in both cases the mother turtles had laid a nest in the sand. Possible reasons for this success rate for these mother turtles can be the good, thick sand for which Ammes is known, and the low level of disturbance by humans during the night.

One of the two turtles encountered beach furniture while crawling on the beach, but instead of turning away she managed to lay her eggs right under a sunbed, which is very unusual. This location is, of course, unsuitable for the successful incubation of the eggs, because human visitors and occasional vehicles on the beach would damage the eggs, and the large umbrellas directly above and around the nest would block the sunlight from helping the eggs incubate. In addition, the high waves on this beach could reach that location and expose the eggs mid-way during their incubation.

The turtle laid its nest under two sunbeds
This turtle crawled under two sunbeds and laid its nest.

For these reasons, the surveying team decided to relocate the nest to a more suitable location along the back of the beach. There, they will have the opportunity to incubate safely without human disturbance and, in seven to eight weeks, the hatchlings will easily make it to the sea.

The second nest was laid in a perfect spot; between large rocks on the very back of the beach. In addition to the marking tape and nest sign, both nests will have to be assessed for the amount of light pollution that may affect them, so that adequate measures can be taken to avoid hatchling disorientation closer to their hatching dates.

Peter and Emma relocating a sea turtle nest
The nest was relocated to a more suitable location, from where the hatchlings will be able to incubate and make it to the sea.

Written by Nikos Vallianos | .

Tags: Argostoli, conservation, sea turtle, Kefalonia, volunteer, Natura 2000, loggerhead, sea turtle nest, Caretta caretta