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Tracking the Sea turtles Boba (Caretta caretta)

NEW YEAR – NEW PREVIEW

They’re going full steam ahead – it looks like there is only one little sea turtle with a GPS problem. This does not mean that it is not close to the other four!

We can already guess where they are headed – the next few weeks will be interesting. We are on tenterhooks.

January 2022 – October 2021 –  SATELLITE MONITORING OF “OUR” SEA TURTLES BOBA ON THEIR JOURNEY THROUGH THE MEDITERRANEAN

When we released the 39 sea turtles into the sea off Cabopino, 5 of them had trackers stuck to their shells. This geographic GPS locator is connected to a position satellite which relays their more or less accurate triangulated position. This is a magnificent opportunity to be able to follow the route of these 5 loggerhead turtles (Caretta caretta).

So that you can take part in this technological advance we are going to update the position of our protégés every 2 weeks – we hope against hope that the batteries last for more than a year and that there are no physical mishaps or the loss of any of the GPSs attached to the shells.

 The Associació Cultural Conservació del Medi Marí – EUCRANTE – is the designer of this innovation and is dedicated to the conservation and dissemination of information about the marine environment in the eastern Mediterranean.

 We hope you enjoy this exciting opportunity!

Link to the web of Associació Eucrante: https://eucrante.org/proyectos/marcaje-satelital-tortuga-boba/intemares-andalucia

 

1st of October 2021 – A commemorating video of a ProDunas Marbella volunteer of the release of the 39 sea turtles (Caretta caretta) at Cabopino Beach (Marbella), the same one that saw them hatch a year ago.

1st of October 2021 – 𝗠𝗜𝗦𝗦𝗜𝗢𝗡 𝗔𝗖𝗖𝗢𝗠𝗣𝗟𝗜𝗦𝗛𝗘𝗗!

The release into the sea of the 39 remaining Loggerhead Sea Turtles (𝘊𝘢𝘳𝘦𝘵𝘵𝘢 𝘤𝘢𝘳𝘦𝘵𝘵𝘢) went ahead as planned. The Junta de Andalucía started the proceedings by giving the schoolchildren from Dunas de las Chapas Secondary School an educational talk on Environmental Education, which is always useful, and the volunteers and the ProDunas Marbella participants had, from the front row, a splendid view of our “adopted children” taking to the sea.

We had to come up with a way to choose the volunteers who could actually take one of the little turtles to the seashore. Out of the nearly 100 participants only 5 could be the lucky ones. We solved the dilemma democratically! We put the names of all those registered into a vase and let luck take its course! It seemed like an elegant way of not making the wrong choice.

The scientific innovation is that 5 of the sea turtles have a GPS attached to their shells so that the route they follow can be tracked (by satellite). This innovation is fascinating because biologists will be able to see if they go further out into the Mediterranean or head for the Atlantic through the Strait of Gibraltar.

We were sad to see them go, but we know that CEGMA in Algeciras has done a great job during the first year of their lives to prepare them for this next stage and we thank them for all their good work. We would also like to mention Marbella Town Hall, specifically the Delegation of the Environment and Beaches, which organised things so perfectly, heeding our suggestion of a shuttle bus, and setting up tables and tents for shade for this memorable event.

The Fire Brigade and the Civil Protection teams cannot be forgotten either. Together with the Environment Agents’ team, they ensured the smooth and safe running of the event.

On the political side, we must highlight the role played by the Mayor of Marbella, Mª Angeles Muñoz Uriol. We were also honoured to greet so many members of the team from the Junta de Andalucía: the Territorial Delegate for Sustainable Development in Malaga, José Antonio Viquez Ruiz, the Head of the Natural Environment Management Service, Félix Javier Gómez Guillamón Manrique, the Head of the Department of Geodiversity and Biodiversity, Mª Nieves Cruz Salcedo, the Coordinator of the ALDEA and Habits of Healthy Living Programs in the Provincial Delegation of Education and Sports in Malaga, María Tiscar Martínez and Helena Moreno from the Biodiversity Foundation. Angel González Castiñeira represented the Andalusia-Mediterranean Coast Demarcation.

The ProDunas Marbella team THANK YOU to everyone who was able to be at the even thank you very much for your interest in nature!

Take care of it and safeguard it. We need your help for this.

SEPTEMBER 2021
MARBELLA – RELEASE OF THE REMAINING SEA TURTLES BORN IN T.M. CABOPINO, MARBELLA IN 2020

The Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, Fisheries and Sustainable Development will let us know the date of the second release from
Cabopino, T.M. Marbella,
which will be scheduled for September 2021.

The waiting period is to benefit the little turtles. It will enable them to gain a little more weight, get closer to the kilo. This will provide them with more protection and security to avoid their natural predators. It will also enable them to develop better to hunt for their food and thus guarantee their survival in the open sea.

We hope that all the volunteers are in agreement with the new guidelines and that they will be able to be present in Cabopino, Marbella in September 2021 to receive the well-deserved tribute from the Authorities and ProDunas Marbella.
We will let you know the date as soon as the Junta informs us.

Marbella deserves to be in the spotlight for the release of the turtles and receive our tribute, because:

  • Volunteering has proven to be up to the task thanks to everyone’s exceptional, unselfish dedication;
  • Workers from the Delegation of the Environment and Beaches of Marbella Town Hall gave us a hand when we needed them;
  • The silent presence of the Civil Protection volunteers looked after the way the custody of the nest was organised;
  • The discreet work of the local Police ensured the well-being of our volunteers during the long dark nights;
  • The Environment Agents undertook the assembling of the legal documentation which each volunteer had to present upon request;

We hope to see you soon again. Enjoy a peaceful and healthy summer.

1ST AUGUST 2021 –  FUENGIROLA – FIRST RELEASE OF 15 OF THE MARBELLA SEA TURTLES INTO THEIR NATURAL HABITAT

After many months of waiting, our little Sea Turtles (Caretta caretta) have gained the necessary weight and are strong enough to face the next stage in their lives. Sunday, 1st August at 10:30 am, 15 of our “adopted children” were released.

The Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, Fisheries and Sustainable Development of the Junta de Andalucía has decided that the first release will be on the beach of El Boliche in Fuengirola, between the Beach Restaurant Videra and the Bar Malaga Strand Torv.

Adherence to the strict anti-COVID guidelines laid down by the Junta de Andalucía will be in force: you must keep a physical distance from the person nearest to you and a mask must be worn at all times.

RELEASE OF THE SEA TURTLES INTO THEIR NATURAL HABITAT
IN HOMAGE OF THE UNBEATABLE JOB DONE BY THE VOLUNTEERS

The Regional Govern (Junta de Andalucía) has just informed us of the day they will be released and informing us that our sponsored Volunteers may be present:
It will take place on Monday, 2nd August.

Our sea turtles currently weigh about 700 gr.

We are getting really excited as that day approaches. We will let everyone know in plenty of time about the event we have planned to say goodbye – forever – to our little turtles (Caretta caretta) as we wish them all the luck in the world on their way out to the oceans.

As soon as we have this specific information we will publish it on our website. In this way you can be part of this beautiful and unique event taking place on our beaches.

Meanwhile we uploaded photographs showing a visit in June to the CEGMA in Algeciras by the schoolchildren from the ECOS Las Chapas School. The Junta de Andalucía gave us permission to schedule this event. The lucky children had already finished their exams to close this school year.

DECEMBER 2020

“OUR LITTLE TURTLES” ARE 3 MONTHS OLD ALREADY

It is 3 months since they came into our lives and it is still a real pleasure to see them playing, trying to snatch the food away from their little brother / sister and how they paddle with those little legs and the energy they move round with.

In the attached videos we introduce Tortuguita nº 58 to you. She weighs only 50 grams and is the smallest of the group. She is half the weight of the largest but her determination  to forge ahead makes her dart out like lightning and fight like no one for her daily ration of food. Little by little, at her own pace, the youngest of the family is growing and catching up with her siblings.

Here is a short explanation so we don’t get confused:

The CEGMA in Algeciras assigned the following numbers to the hatchlings, respecting the order in which they hatched out. This explains the order of the numbers of the total number of turtles that arrived in CEGMA:

1 to 11:  These correspond to the little turtles that hatched out in Bioparc Fuengirola

12 to 60: These were assigned to the little turtles that hatched out in the turtle nest that ProDunas Marbella looked after together with the
                       volunteers. Therefore, the last 3 numbers: 58, 59 and 60 are the 3 live hatchlings that appeared when the remaining nest in the beach in Cabopino in Marbella was dug out. Number 58 in their calculations therefore corresponds to our turtle number 47.

We are really looking forward to getting more videos and photos over the next 9 months so we can see how they continue to grow and develop.

 

OCTOBER 2020. Loggerhead turtles on the Costa del Sol

A HAPPY ENDING – OR A BEGINNING?
THE MIRACLE IN MARBELLA HAS COME TO A HAPPY AND JOYFUL END WITH 49 LIVE SEA TURTLES (Caretta caretta)

16 long nights and hot days protecting and looking after the sea turtle nest have ended with the arrival of 49 live hatchlings. It is a miracle! On 6th August biologists and veterinarians from the Regional Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, Fisheries and Sustainable Development moved the nest from Los Boliches in Fuengirola to the beach in Cabopino in the townland of Marbella, to save the sea turtle eggs from possible destruction because the mother had laid her eggs in an area of the beach too close to the intertidal zone. The scientific staff chose the Cabopino beach because it is mainly protected from bad weather, it provides the necessary humidity and has the optimum size of the sand grains, which guarantee an ideal oxygenation of the nest – all this to provide the best possible development of the embryos and a successful hatching.

Our ProDunas Association, under the guidelines of the Regional Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, Fisheries and Sustainable Development and with the proper Legal Ruling, took charge of mobilising a responsible and committed force of volunteers. In just 3 days more than 200 had signed up. The 24-hour surveillance for the 16 days it took for the eggs to hatch proceeded without incident. It was the members of the night shift on 22nd September who activated the emergency protocol by calling 112 at 11:03 p.m. when a small sea turtle head emerged from a hole in the fenced in area round the nest. The volunteers then contacted us on our ProDunas Association number so we could get down to the beach and give emotional support to the volunteers who were there. Understandably, the excitement level was high. That night 37 sea turtles emerged, one after the other, to begin a dynamic adventure.

One night later, on 23rd September the volunteers were even more vigilant so as not to miss the slightest movement in the fenced in area round the nest and again the emergency protocol was activated when the call to 112 went out at 10:25 p.m. as 3 more little turtles appeared. The anticipation on 24th September ended with a further 6 little turtles arriving. 72 hours later the scientific protocol directed that the nest had to be dug out. In front of a silent, dedicated public, respecting the anti-Covid norms at all times, the biologists of the Junta de Andalucía helped 3 more little turtles to see the light of dusk! The thrill was contagious. Now there are 49 newly hatched sea turtles in the CEGMA (Centro de Gestión del Medio Marino Andaluz) in Algeciras who are busy doing their swimming exercises. They are in perfect condition.

ProDunas is proud to have been part of this great event and wants to thank all the selfless volunteers who have been lucky enough to witness this miracle of life.

Our express thanks go to the biologists and veterinarians who looked after the hatchlings, especially to the Ministry of the Environment, which established the guidelines; to Marbella Town Hall and especially to the Delegation of the Environment and Beaches whose staff showed up without delay when ProDunas needed them; to the Environment staff who sorted out rules regarding documentation from the registered volunteers; to Civil Protection who kept things calm during the hatching;  to the local Police, who made their rounds at night so that our volunteers were safe; to the volunteers of the Aula del Mar, who made their volunteering joining our volunteers,  and to Traffic, who got us parking so that the volunteers could park close to the nest although it was a no parking zone. Thank you to everyone who shared in this beautiful miracle.

Now we can all go back to our previous lives! ProDunas will get a photographic record to you all next week – ONCE AGAIN, THANK YOU – we will keep you up to date on developments.

SURVEILLANCE OF SEA TURTLES NEST – SEPTEMBER-OCTOBER

WE ARE LOOKING FOR VOLUNTEERS

 On 6th August we were notified by the Junta de Andalucía of the transfer and new location of 60 Sea Turtle eggs from Fuengirola to Marbella. Most unusually, a sea turtle of the Boba species had laid its eggs on the El Boliche beach but in a place that was very exposed to the waves and tides.

ProDunas will adhere to the guidelines of the Ministry of the Environment of the Junta de Andalucía to form part of the team to supervise and has offered to help with the job of looking after the sea turtle eggs until they hatch. We estimate that we will have to wait between 50 and 60 days until the hatch and the sea turtle hatchlings en masse dash to reach the sea. This will happen at night.

Surveillance will have to be triggered and reinforced towards the end of September. As we are in the middle of the summer season right now it does not leave us much time. We are already making appeals to our partners, friends and supporters who want to take part in this exciting experience to contact us. We are in the process of creating a database so it will be ready when the event occurs. This probably will not happen again for decades to come. (If these hatchlings come back to this beach in their turn to lay their eggs it could be 30 years or so from now.)

 ANY VOLUNTEERS?

Your work will consist of being physically present for between 1 to 3 hours at a time organised in day and night shifts. The stakeouts will be set up having calculated the time each volunteer can contribute. Groups of 2 or 3 people can volunteer together.

A tent and chairs will be supplied so that the stakeout is nice and comfortable. The Delegation of Environment and Beaches of Marbella Town Hall is working with us on this.

CONTACT INFORMATION:

So that we can let you know the dates when an active stakeout will be scheduled and coordinated with the Junta in in Seville / Malaga and which will be escalated as the time approaches for the eggs to hatch, we need to have the following data:

– Name and surname
– Passport or DNI/NIE

– Telephone contact

– Email

– Availability: number of days; day or night preference.

 Those interested are requested to send their data by email to: asociacion@produnas.org

or to our website: https://produnas.org/en/contact 

We feel sure that a lot of people will want to volunteer to support this project and marine wildlife in general. It must be understood that for now the exact location of the nest must be kept secret to avoid unwanted curiosity. The location will be made known in due course.

Thank you for your understanding

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Asociación ProDunas Marbella

La Asociación trabaja incesantemente en defensa y preservación de los singulares ecosistemas aún existentes en los entornos naturales con dunas en la Provincia de Málaga; impulsa la protección de su flora autóctona y pequeña fauna silvestre; fomenta la recuperación, rehabilitación y conservación de la interesante biodiversidad en las zonas dunares del municipio de Marbella.