Need something to brighten up your Monday morning? Well, check out this video of a bunch of just-hatched baby turtles making their way to the sea among deckchairs in Golden Bay in the dead of night.
The adorable footage was caught last night just after 9.30pm, when about 50 loggerhead turtles hatched. This marks the end of a saga that started 51 days ago, when a pregnant loggerhead turtle had rolled up to the Maltese beach on the evening of 4th July to deposit her eggs when no humans were around. Much like that night, yesterday’s adorable footage is all thanks to the Aqua Marine Water Sports camera.
“About 50 turtle hatchlings have emerged from the turtle nest at Ir-Ramla tal-Mixquqa (Golden Bay) this night, after a successful period of incubation,” Nature Trust’s Facebook page announced last night. “The Environment and Resources Authority (ERA), together with Nature Trust – FEE Malta (NTM) and volunteers, are on site to ensure appropriate protection to the hatchlings to ensure guiding the hatchlings safely to the water’s edge.”
Hatchlings are naturally attracted to moon light shining on the sea surface and their first response, upon emerging from the eggs, is to swim towards light… and that’s exactly what the little guys were caught doing on the CCTV footage.
This isn’t summer 2020’s first hatching either; earlier this month, more than 80 turtles hatched in Gozo’s Ramla Bay.
After a female loggerhead turtle was spotted laying eggs in Gozo for the first time in over 70 years towards the end of May, the adorable hatchlings emerged as soon as August kicked off.
Meanwhile, there are two currently more turtle nests in Għadira.
The loggerhead turtle (Maltese: il-fekruna l-komuni), is a long-living, slowly maturing marine species that inhabits tropical to warm temperate areas.
It is endangered and capturing, killing, taking, and trading these turtles, as well as the deliberate disturbance of these species, particularly during the period of breeding, rearing and migration, is prohibited and subject to legal action.
Malta’s national ‘Flora, Fauna and Natural Habitats Protection Regulations’ impose a minimum fine of nearly €500 and going up to nearly €2400 for each egg that may be destroyed or taken from the wild.
ERA is calling for the public’s collaboration in reducing impacts to such nests and that any observations of any environmental illegality or turtle activity should be immediately reported to ERA on 9921 0404 or email@example.com.