Loggerhead Sea Turtles in Dalyan: Caretta Caretta

The Caretta Caretta turtle is designated as threatened on the Wildlife Endangered Species List. These turtles with their large heads and reddish brown shells come to Iztuzu Beach to nest from May to September. They have yellowish to white undersides and can measure up to 3-4 feet in length. The turtle reaches maturity around 15 years of age, they can weigh between 150 and 300 pounds.

Adult turtles are meeting in the lake of Dalyan Delta few weeks before the female lays her eggs. They are feeding before sex. The cute sea turtles feed on blue crabs of Dalyan, seashells, seahorses, algae, sponges and tiny flora of the sea. Their sex takes some hours and other turtles stay far away. You can hear their sounds.

The Caretta Caretta Turtle returns to the beach where they themselves hatched. The adult female may lay several clutches each season, usually, she will lay eggs every two-three years. Digs a 40-60 cm nest and lays down an average of 80-100 eggs. She may try her chance again and dig more nests on the following nights.

This is such an astounding process that the turtle would burst into tears while digging with her rear legs. The tears help to protect her eyes from the sand also from dehydration due to her tiresome efforts. This turtle pace hard work takes hours.

The foxes and some birds are among the major predators of the turtle eggs. An instinctive reflex leads the hatchlings to crawl down to the sparkling beach under the moonlight. That’s why ‘lights out for the turtles’ regime is applied on the Iztuzu Beach after it gets dark.

You can visit Iztuzu Sea Turtles Research Rescue Rehabilitation and Information Center when you go swimming at Iztuzu Beach. You can see injured turtles which are come from everywhere.