Saturday, March 5, 2011

Sea Turtle Rescue

The turtles face a gamut of manmade dangers: pollution, plastic bags and other seaborne litter; outboard motors and fishing nets; jeeps hurtling along beaches. About 50 injured turtles are brought to the Rescue Center every year, most of them hurt by human activity. The success rate in saving injured reptiles is about 65 percent.

For more than two decades, Israel National Nature and Parks Authority rangers have patrolled the Mediterranean coastline during hatching season, transferring eggs from nests to protected hatcheries. To date, at least 50,000 hatchlings have been released to protected sections of beach. Young turtles' low survival rate -- only one in every 100 hatchlings lives to reach reproductive age -- means that every egg saved can have an impact.

The Knesset has passed a series of laws to protect Israel's beaches. It is now illegal to build any structure within 100 meters of the Mediterranean coastline. Light from restaurants, banquet halls and nightclubs no longer disorients the young hatchlings, sending them in the wrong direction. Legislation has also outlawed driving vehicles on the beaches - a real threat to nesting spots and the hatchlings as they make their way to the water over a period of one to four days.

Israel Sea Turtle Satellite Tracking Project allows to trace loggerhead & green turtles online.

Source: Israel21c

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