Loggerhead turtle lays eggs in Gozo for the first time in 70 years

Nature Trust - FEE Malta appealed to the public to keep its distance from the nest and help observe the directives to be issued by ERA about the site.

 

The loggerhead turtle laying its eggs at Ramla Bay
The loggerhead turtle laying its eggs at Ramla Bay

The first egg-laying by a loggerhead turtle in Gozo for 70 years was recorded on Friday night, according to Nature Trust - FEE Malta.

The rare event was observed at around 10.00 pm last night in Ramla Bay in Gozo. The turtle came out of the sea at around 10 pm and left around 11.30 pm after laying its eggs. Turtle nestings were also reported the previous night in Ragusa Bay in Sicily, marking an early season. 

This is the first recorded and confirmed nest in Gozo in 70 years.  The most recent nestings were recorded in Malta in 2012, 2014 and 2018 with the last having a successful hatching rate of 111 from 112 eggs.  

Nature Trust - Wildlife Rescue were alerted by members of the public and volunteers were on site within a few minutes to guard the female loggerhead and keep the nest safe.

The Environment Resource Authority was immediately alerted and will now decide on the most appropriate way forward to ensure that the nest is not placed in any danger.  ERA will assist in the process till the hatching which is expected to occur around mid to end July.

Nature Trust – FEE Malta will now be deploying its volunteers to work with ERA officials for the protection of the nest from dangers both man-made and natural.  One particular challenge on this bay is the Ghost crab, a species of crab that poses a danger to young turtle hatchlings.  The volunteers will, as in previous years, be there during the hatching to ensure as many turtles as possible make it safely to the sea.

Nature Trust - FEE Malta appealed to the public to keep its distance from the nest and help observe the directives to be issued by ERA about the site.

 

 

More in Nature