MATERIALS AND METHOD

As in 1996, research was carried out this year on two important nesting beaches in the Karpaz area. Altınkum (Picture 1) and North Karpaz (Picture 2) beaches were monitored all day and all night. Other beaches in the area were monitored during the day. Our work this year started on June 3, 1997. Groups set up camp in suitable places behind the beaches and continued their work until October 13, 1997. The monitoring on the Altınkum and North Karpaz beaches was carried out on foot between 21.00 and 06.00. Female turtles which came to the beach to nest were identified and tagged. This year, green tags were used to differentiate them from last year’s red ones (Picture 3).

Picture 1: A general view of the Altınkum I beach

 

Picture 2: A general view of the North Karpaz beaches

Picture 3: A tag used in this year’s project

Picture 4: A metal net used against predation by foxes

The carapace measurements of the nesting females were also taken as follows:

Straight Carapace Length - SCL, Straight Carapace Width - SCW (Figure 1)

Curved Carapace Length - CCL, and Curved Carapace Width - CCW (Figure 2).

 

SCW

SCW

SCL

SCL

 

Figure 1: The measurement of the straight carapace length and width

Figure 2: The measurement of the curved carapace length

The beaches were marked at intervals of 50 m. to allow us to locate the nests and to determine the parts of the beach where female turtles nested the most. Nests were covered with a metal net against predation by foxes in this breeding season too (Picture 4). Nests where hatching occurred were opened after the last hatchling left. We were thus able to accurately determine the number of eggs, of hatchlings, and of fertilized and unfertilized eggs. Nests where hatching did not take place were opened 60 days later to try and determine the number of eggs and the causes of this failure to hatch.

As the research was conducted separately on Altınkum and on North Karpaz beaches, the findings will be analyzed and presented separately.