ROUND the clock surveillance and observation was underway on La Mata beach after a loggerhead turtle laid its eggs on the shoreline.
The turtle was first spotted by two holidaymakers who called 112 emergency services after they realised it was spawning. Police brought municipal biologist Juan Antonio Pujo to the sight and beach supervisor Mariano Lara, who spent all night guarding the site and to prevent anyone from disturbing the turtle and the eggs.
Pujo said it was a “historic event” as it was the first time they had observed a loggerhead laying eggs on a Torrevieja beach. He said: “It is not very common that they spawn in the Mediterranean, but it has been increasing in recent years.”
As protection protocol was activated, the scene brought curious onlookers as well as Mayor Jose Manuel Dolon and councillor for Beaches, Javier Manzanares.
After the nest was guarded all night it took the team an hour to locate the 85 eggs before a team from the University of Valencia and the Cavanilles Institute of Biodiversity and Evolutionary Biology removed the nest to the beach of La Albufera in Valencia. There, scientists can keep a closer eye on the eggs ahead of them hatching in around two months’ time.
In other similar situations newborn turtles have spent a year at the Oceanographic before being released and it is hoped these turtles will also be released.