Third turtle nest found in Għadira

First time on record that Malta is hosting three nests simultaneously.

Nature Trust FEE/Facebook

Tista' taqra bil- Malti.

Nature Trust – FEE Malta recorded a third turtle nest in Għadira Bay last night.

The NGO has appealed to the public to respect new conditions soon on site, especially as regards noise.

Following late night reports of the turtle nest, officers from the Environment and Resources Authority (ERA) and Nature Trust Malta (NTM‐FEE) went on site and confirmed the nesting. While on site, ERA officers immediately cordoned off the area to protect the nest. The area is currently being monitored.

Nature Trust would like to thank ERA officials for their support, as well as the first people who alerted them about the nest.

It is also urgently appealing for volunteers (18+ years) to help in monitoring the nest. Those interested may email turtle.naturetrust@gmail.com, specifying ‘Ghadira nest’ or ‘Golden Sands nest’ in the subject.

In the meantime, ERA is assessing the situation to decide on immediate measures that are to be put in place so as to ensure that the nest is not endangered in any way. ERA will therefore work in close collaboration with Nature Trust Malta (NTM‐FEE); the Ministry for the Environment, Climate Change and Planning (MECP); and other public and private entities, as applicable.

An Emergency Conservation Order (ECO) will be issued by ERA to ensure more direct protection to the nesting area. As for other turtle nests, excessive noise and trampling in the nesting area and unnecessary artificial lighting pose a danger to turtle eggs and any hatchlings.

The Environment and Resources Authority notes that this is the third reliably confirmed nesting of loggerhead turtle this year. This is the first time on record that Malta is hosting three nests simultaneously.

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.  Even the destruction of eggs or taking of eggs from the wild is strictly prohibited and constitutes a criminal offence. 

ERA is calling for the public’s collaboration in reducing impacts to such nests and that any observations of any turtle activity or environmental illegality should be immediately reported to ERA on tel. no@ 99210404 or ced.nature@era.org.mt.