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Northern Cyprus Marine Turtle Conservation Project

Since 1992 the Marine Turtle Conservation Project, a project of the Marine Turtle Research Group, has been monitoring the nesting beaches of Northern Cyprus. The project is in collaboration with the Society for the Protection of Turtles in Northern Cyprus (SPoT) and the Department of Environmental Protection. Both green and loggerhead turtles nest in Northern Cyprus. Green turtles in the Mediterranean are listed as critically endangered by the IUCN, with estimates suggesting that there are as few as 300-400 females nesting annually in this region. There are estimated to be 2000-3000 loggerhead turtles nesting annually in the Mediterranean. Approximately 30 % of the green and 10% of the loggerhead turtles in the Mediterranean nest in Northern Cyprus, making this a critical nesting habitat for this species. Previous satellite tracking studies have shown that after nesting in Cyprus, female green turtles migrate to the coast of Turkey, Egypt and Libya. Loggerhead females have been tracked to Syria, Egypt, Libya and Tunisia, with some remaining in Cyprus all year round. Many of these regions hold numerous threats to marine turtles, in particular incidental capture and directed fishing. Knowledge of the areas utilized by marine turtles outside of the nesting season is critical to their protection.

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Please note that the ocean environment is very hard on electronic equipment. In our experience approximately 50% of all deployed transmitters fail after the first six months. Some do not last even that long and others have lasted much longer. Because we are not able to control or predict when a tag will fail we ask for a measure of understanding in this regard from each sponsor.


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