Photos: Turtles swim to uncertain future

With a coastline of around 44 kilometres (27 miles), Kyparissia had over 3,700 nests this year, up from 3,500 in 2018. Typically, female loggerhead return to the beach of their birth to lay their eggs once they mature at the age of 20. Archelon NGO stresses that the turtles’ presence is a key indicator of sea water quality. We are fortunate to have these habitats. This is a natural treasure. It needs to be protected, not exploited.

Updated On Oct 10, 2019 09:38 AM IST 7 Photos
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Freed from its eggshell by a volunteer, the tiny turtle hatchling clambers across a pebble-strewn sandy Greek beach in a race to the sea, the start of a hazardous journey that only one in 1,000 will survive. With a coastline of around 44 km, Kyparissia had over 3,700 nests this year, up from 3,500 in 2018. A female loggerhead returns to the beach of their birth to lay their eggs once they mature at the age of 20. (Aris Messinis / AFP)

Freed from its eggshell by a volunteer, the tiny turtle hatchling clambers across a pebble-strewn sandy Greek beach in a race to the sea, the start of a hazardous journey that only one in 1,000 will survive. With a coastline of around 44 km, Kyparissia had over 3,700 nests this year, up from 3,500 in 2018. A female loggerhead returns to the beach of their birth to lay their eggs once they mature at the age of 20. (Aris Messinis / AFP)

Updated on Oct 10, 2019 09:38 AM IST
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A volunteer from the Archelon NGO searches at a nest for live newborn sea turtles. Kira Schirrmacher, 22, donning black gloves to gently ease the newborn loggerhead turtle on its way, grins at suggestions that she’s a kind of “midwife”. “Yes, I do that all day,” says Schirrmacher, of her role. She’s one of several volunteers monitoring the beaches of Kyparissia Bay, the Mediterranean’s largest nesting ground for the loggerhead, whose scientific name is Caretta caretta. (Aris Messinis / AFP)

A volunteer from the Archelon NGO searches at a nest for live newborn sea turtles. Kira Schirrmacher, 22, donning black gloves to gently ease the newborn loggerhead turtle on its way, grins at suggestions that she’s a kind of “midwife”. “Yes, I do that all day,” says Schirrmacher, of her role. She’s one of several volunteers monitoring the beaches of Kyparissia Bay, the Mediterranean’s largest nesting ground for the loggerhead, whose scientific name is Caretta caretta. (Aris Messinis / AFP)

Updated on Oct 10, 2019 09:38 AM IST
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Tourism, climate change and good fortune all weigh on the future of the loggerhead population, which the International Union for Conservation of Nature lists as vulnerable. Even sun loungers on the beach that can snag the turtles and bright lights that lure the hatchlings away from the water at night are potential threats, say environmentalists. (Aris Messinis / AFP)

Tourism, climate change and good fortune all weigh on the future of the loggerhead population, which the International Union for Conservation of Nature lists as vulnerable. Even sun loungers on the beach that can snag the turtles and bright lights that lure the hatchlings away from the water at night are potential threats, say environmentalists. (Aris Messinis / AFP)

Updated on Oct 10, 2019 09:38 AM IST
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Newborn loggerhead turtles (Caretta caretta) head towards the sea after got free from their eggshells. Their overall numbers are unknown but some Pacific and Indian Ocean populations are critically low, while conservation measures have bolstered their presence in the Mediterranean, environmental groups say. (Aris Messinis / AFP)

Newborn loggerhead turtles (Caretta caretta) head towards the sea after got free from their eggshells. Their overall numbers are unknown but some Pacific and Indian Ocean populations are critically low, while conservation measures have bolstered their presence in the Mediterranean, environmental groups say. (Aris Messinis / AFP)

Updated on Oct 10, 2019 09:38 AM IST
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A bather sits close to a protected sea turtle nest at a beach.“It seems (more of) our female turtles survive and come back to nest,” says oceanographer Dimitris Fytilis, head of the organisation’s rescue centre for injured turtles in the coastal Athens suburb, Glyfada. Each nest contains up to 120 eggs but up to a fifth may fail to hatch at all. (Aris Messinis / AFP)

A bather sits close to a protected sea turtle nest at a beach.“It seems (more of) our female turtles survive and come back to nest,” says oceanographer Dimitris Fytilis, head of the organisation’s rescue centre for injured turtles in the coastal Athens suburb, Glyfada. Each nest contains up to 120 eggs but up to a fifth may fail to hatch at all. (Aris Messinis / AFP)

Updated on Oct 10, 2019 09:38 AM IST
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Loggerheads can live to 80 years of age, grow to more than half a metre (20 inches) and weigh up to 80 kilos (175 pounds) but face mortal danger from birth. Newborns must evade dogs, jackals, foxes, seagulls and other predators just to make it to the sea. More than 600 turtles turn up dead in Greece every year, mostly on beaches but also in the water, trapped in nets or sick, the rescue centre says. (Aris Messinis / AFP)

Loggerheads can live to 80 years of age, grow to more than half a metre (20 inches) and weigh up to 80 kilos (175 pounds) but face mortal danger from birth. Newborns must evade dogs, jackals, foxes, seagulls and other predators just to make it to the sea. More than 600 turtles turn up dead in Greece every year, mostly on beaches but also in the water, trapped in nets or sick, the rescue centre says. (Aris Messinis / AFP)

Updated on Oct 10, 2019 09:38 AM IST
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Archelon stresses that the turtles’ presence is a key indicator of sea water quality.”We are fortunate to have these habitats. This is a natural treasure. It needs to be protected, not exploited,” warns Fytilis. (Will Vassilopoulos / AFP)

Archelon stresses that the turtles’ presence is a key indicator of sea water quality.”We are fortunate to have these habitats. This is a natural treasure. It needs to be protected, not exploited,” warns Fytilis. (Will Vassilopoulos / AFP)

Updated on Oct 10, 2019 09:38 AM IST
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