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Jaime Bresca
Environment

Watch as more than 30 loggerhead turtles hatch on Costa del Sol beach

The hatchlings, protected by volunteers in Marbella for the last two months, have been transferred to CEGMA and the security operation is ongoing with another 29 eggs still to hatch

Andrea Jiménez

Marbella

Tuesday, 29 August 2023

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Some 31 loggerhead turtles have hatched in Marbella in the nest that has been under guard for two months, located on Nueva Andalucía beach, in front of the Guadalpín Banús hotel. The hatchlings have been transferred to the Centro de Gestión del Medio Marino Andaluz (CEGMA), in Algeciras, and the security operation is ongoing with a further 29 eggs that still in the nest.

The hatchlings are added to the eight that were placed in an incubator at Bioparc Fuengirola, making a total of 39 hatchlings in Algeciras. The nest hatchlings have undergone initial check-ups, biometrics, weighing and individual identification, and have already been introduced into the water, where they have proved to be good swimmers.

The eight that hatched in the incubator will remain on land for at least one more day before being introduced to the water.

Some of the loggerhead turtles hatched at Bioparc Fuengirola. SUR
Imagen principal - Some of the loggerhead turtles hatched at Bioparc Fuengirola.
Imagen secundaria 1 - Some of the loggerhead turtles hatched at Bioparc Fuengirola.
Imagen secundaria 2 - Some of the loggerhead turtles hatched at Bioparc Fuengirola.

The turtles will remain in captivity for at least one year at CEGMA, as the mortality rate of hatchlings of this species is above 95 percent. Once they have spent the first months under veterinary supervision, a percentage will be transferred to the Seville Aquarium, where they will form part of a breeding programme with a view to maximising the survival of the species.

Return to natural environment

They will return to their natural environment in summer 2024, in the hope that once they are adults these females will once again choose the Costa del Sol to lay their eggs, as this species always returns to their beaches of birth to reproduce, a phenomenon called philopatry.

Marbella’s councillor for Beaches, Diego López, said that "during all this time the management has been exemplary, not only by the administrations and groups involved, but also by other organisations that have been fundamental for us to be able to celebrate the birth of the hatchlings on Nueva Andalucía beach." López thanked the volunteers who responded to the town hall’s call to safeguard the eggs on 8 July.

This is the fourth nest in Andalucía in the last 15 years, although it is a growing phenomenon as in 2023 alone 23 loggerhead turtle nests have been recorded on the beaches in Malaga province; the only province in Andalucía to have recorded their presence this year.

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