The loggerhead sea turtle (Caretta-Caretta) is an endangered specie that can only be found today in the Mediterranean sea. The turtle can reach a size of 1.2 metres in length and a 100kg weight.
The female turtle lays her eggs between June and August, at night, in the dry part of the sandy beaches, and leaves more than one hundred eggs in a hole of 40 to 60 cm deep. The hatchlings emerge about two months later and return to the sea. Twenty to thirty years later, the females will return to their natal beach to reproduce.
Every year, many turtles are injured by motorboats, while the sandy egg-laying beaches are destroyed. Many turtles get trapped and perish in fishnets, and the seas are getting more and more polluted. This has led to the establishment of international agreements in order to protect the endangered turtles.
The Caretta-Caretta creates an average of approximately 1.300 nests along 6 beaches in the famous bay of Laganas.
The Greek legislation has adopted a series of measures to protect the turtle and has established the National Marine Park of Zakynthos.
Donít use the beaches of the Gulf of Laganas and Yerakas between sunset
2. Donít stick umbrellas in the sand in the marked zones.
3. Pick up your garbage.
4. Donít use lights near the beach at night because it disturbs
5. Donít take any vehicle on the protected beaches
6. Donít dig up turtles nests
7. Donít pick up the hatchlings or carry them to the water
8. Donít use speedboats in Laganas Bay.
For thousands of years, the turtles have lived peacefully in the area of Zakynthos and have laid their eggs on the long sandy beaches.
Today, the sea turtle is under the direct threat of extension from the increasing tourist industry on the island of Zakynthos.
The island has seen a high tourism development along the eastern and southern coast over the last ten years. An airport has been built next to the beach of Laganas, where many sea turtles lay their eggs, welcoming more than 300.000 visitors each year.
The Marine Park is situated on the southern coast of Zakynthos, and covers the area of Laganas, nearby beaches such as Gerakas and Keri Lake.
For more information about the National Marine Park, check the website:
The Society for turtle protection in association with the Greek Ministry of Environment provide the information to the visitors about the few simple regulations that will ensure the protection of the endangered turtle.
- Convention on the conservation of European wildlife. The Caretta-Caretta:
- The Environmental Educational Center of Zakynthos : here