A turtle has been fitted with a GPS tracker to see where on the coast she heads to lay her eggs

Veterinarians from the Oceanogràfic foundation have installed a microchip and satellite signal transmitter to a turtle that tried to spawn in the sand of Port Saplaya, in Alboraya (Valencia).

The aim is for them to see the route that she will follow for the next few days and see if she which of the beaches of the Valencia or Murcia coastline she chooses to lay her eggs.

It´s doubtful that the mother will take the Blue Flag status of the beaches into consideration, but she may choose one considered safer by the lack of human threat, as we mentioned the other day when we reported how warning signs and advice had been issued about what to do if you spot a turtle on the beach (stay away, don´t make eye contact, don´t walk in her tracks, dial 112).

The turtle which has been fitted with the surveillance equipment was spotted on Wednesday night when two people notified the 112 emergency coordination centre of her presence. The established protocol was initiated which saw a response team comprising of representatives of the University of Valencia, the Ministry of the Environment, and members of the Oceanogràfic foundation sent to investigate.

The 74-centimetre long female turtle showed intent to spawn on he beach by starting digging a nest in the sand. However, she failed due to water coming into the hole and so, before being returned to the sea, the team were able to carry out blood tests and an ultrasound to verify the mother was in good health, and then they installed their devices before she returned to the sea to find a more suitable location.

Explaining their actions, the members of the Oceanogràfic foundation described how not only is this not an isolated case, it is something which is becoming more frequent. In 2014 there was a nesting in Alicante, a year later on the beach of Torrevieja (Alicante) and in 2016 in the sand of Sueca (Valencia). In all of these cases, members of the public had reported the turtles and so ensured their protection whilst they went about the natural development of this endangered species.


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