CARETTA CARETTA SEA TURTLES
Dalyan, as one of the most preferred accommodation and visit points of local and foreign world travellers for vacation is one of the indispensable vacation points of Aegean Region with its natural beauties, historical texture and natural life treasure. One of the objects arousing attention of people who get the opportunity to have holiday in Dalyan is Caretta Caretta sea turtles which has become a symbol of Dalyan in time. The world famous Iztuzu beach and the Mediterranean coast are the breeding and habitats of these sea creatures that have become the symbol of Dalyan. It is thought that Caretta Caretta sea turtles have been living and breeding in this area for millions of years. The data obtained from researches of our country and world famous scientists and scientific organizations are always in this direction.
This pretty living creature which has adopted İztuzu Beach and Mediterrenaen coast as its home is in the list of creatures facing the danger of extinction. İztuzu Beaches are both a living area for this lovely living creature and a breeding area. Caretta Carettas visit several Mediterranean coasts as well as İztuzu coast to mate and lay eggs during certain periods of the year. According to the data obtained from researches, these creatures prefer the beaches they hatched to lay their eggs.
İztuzu Beach has been under protection for over 25 years with the efforts of people living in Dalyan and in the region. in 1980s, İztuzu Beach was opened to tourism investments and a five-star hotel construction initiated with the partnership of Turkey and Germany, but protests were carried out by people of Dalyan and the region with many foreigners including Ms June Haimoff who is an English citizen and and the hotel construction stopped. In1986,as a result of campaigns carried out by International Union for Conservation of Nature(IUCN), World Wildlife Fund(WWF), Turkish branch of World Wildlife Fund and people of Dalyan, Dalyan Region was declared as a Protection Area for Sea Turtles and many other creatures and taken under protection. A Rehabilitation Center was founded by Mrs June Haimoff in İztuzu region for protection of Caretta Carettas and treatment of those who have been injured for various reasons. This center, which is called Turtle Hospital today, is open for visitors. Ms. June Haimoff, who is called by the people of Dalyan as Captain June, still lives in Dalyan and keeps working for the protection of these lovely animals.
Caretta Carettas are very big creatures. Adult Caretta Carettas' height can reach to 150 cm and their weight to 100kgs. Female ones reach sexual maturity at the ages of 25-30 and they come to İztuzu Beaches to lay their eggs where they hatched. Caretta Carettas start to come to Dalyan İztuzu beaches with the beginning of Spring in early days of April and their favourite food is blue crab. These inland waters where the population of blue crabs is ver rich, offer these creatures with good nutrition opportunity during the mating season. The laying period starts in the middle of May and continues until the end of July. Caretta Carettas goes to İztuzu beaches at night with 2 or 3 years break and leaves about 100 eggs, in tennis ball size, to the trenches they dug. Caretta Caretta babies hatch after 60 days of incubation period. Little Caretta's first goal is to reach the sea. After the baby Carettas hatch, they wait until night to climb on the sand and reach the sea. Their effort to each the sea which usually takes place at night is a struggle worth seeing. It has been thought that light and noise factors have great importance in finding their way and reaching to the sea. For this reason, during the breeding season, İztuzu Beach is closed for visitors between 08:00 pm to 08:00 am. The staff in the area follow the hatching areas , mark them, and protect them against wild animals like foxes by using various equipments.
Our request from the guests choosing Dalyan for their holiday is to follow and act in accordance with the warnings of staff in charge to contribute to protection of these lovely creatures. Pay attention to the signs indicating the breeding areas.