The Mallorcan Sea Turtle (Loggerhead Sea Turtle, Castellano: Tortuga boba, Latin: Caretta caretta) is in a pretty vulnerable state, or so the Fundación Aspro Natura Marineland would have us know. Not many loggerheads are found along the European and African coastlines these days. And the few that visit our shores often enough get tangled up in local fishermen’s nets. What a perilous existence, don’t you think? According to Wikipedia, the Mediterranean Sea is a nursery for juvenile loggerheads. Almost 45 percent of the juvenile population in the Mediterranean have migrated from the Atlantic Ocean. Loggerhead turtles feed in the western and eastern basins of the Mediterranean, with Greece being the most popular nesting site with more than 3,000 nests per year.
The Aspro people with the support of the Servicio de Protección de Especies del Govern Balear last year rescued 25 of the biggish turtles in Balearic waters. However, 14 of the saved animals later died from their injuries and the distress they had sustained, and only 11 turtles could be resuscitated, saved and later released back into the Med.
The photo (top) was taken in Palma de Mallorca, Baleares, Spain. The date: February 24th, 2010. The time was 15:48:39. The photo (bottom) was taken from the Internet. My thanks go to diariodemallorca.es.
FYI – we witnessed a small turtle (approx 10 – 12″ long) coming ashore on a small section of beach along the Pine Walk in Puerto Pollença earlier this morning – about 10:30am local time. It noticed us and headed back out to sea! Not sure if it was a loggerhead – seemed to have a ‘spikey’ nose like a terrapin, but was certainly coming out of the sea?!