Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Pet Turtle Care: Turtle Watching in Northern Cyprus

Pet Turtle Care

You may think you know everything there is to know about the island of Cyprus, but chances are that you are thinking of the tourist friendly south with its sandy beaches and towering hotel blocks. A holiday in Northern Cyprus is completely different and visitors are flocking to this region for a relaxing break, where they can experience the regions incredible wildlife, from the ample birdlife to the turtles which are indigenous to this area.

Turtle Watching in Northern Cyprus

Divers from all over the world book holidays in Northern Cyprus to see the colourful fishes of the area and it seems that the region?s rich marine life is also responsible for introducing sea turtles to Northern Cyprus. These enigmatic creatures were once found all over beaches in the Mediterranean, but the artificial lights of modern hotel developments and nightclubs confuse the baby turtles that naturally make their way towards the moon on hatching from their mother?s eggs. The animals now face near extinction, but whilst on your holiday in Northern Cyprus you can see these incredible baby animals for yourself and help get involved in their plight.

The best beach in Northern Cyprus to spot sea turtles is the Alagadi Beach, located near Girne on the Karpaz Peninsula. This beach has been declared a protected area for both the green and loggerhead turtles that lay their eggs in the sand here during the month of May. The baby turtles hatch two months later in July, where they will make their way towards the moon and into the warm Mediterranean Ocean where they will reunite with their parents.

Alagadi Beach, is located just ten minutes away from the main tourist resort of Kyrenia and can be easily reached on your Northern Cyprus holiday. Tourists are welcome to observe the turtles at any time, but there are plenty of organisations that you can join if you want to help with their conservation during your holiday to Northern Cyprus. The Society for the Protection of Turtles or SPOT carries out nightly surveys of hatching activity during the month of July. If you get involved with this charity during your Northern Cyprus holiday then you could find your evenings spent observing hatching sights and releasing baby turtles into the sea. This is extremely rewarding and a great way to give something back to the local community.

If you just wish to observe the turtles whilst on holiday in Northern Cyprus then there are a number of rules and precautions that you need to take, particularly around the area of Alagadi Beach. These precautions have been introduced by the Department of Environmental Protection and should be observed during the turtles breeding months of May to October. One such precaution prohibits the throwing of plastic carrier bags into the ocean as baby turtles often mistake these for jelly fish and attempt to eat them, resulting in death. The use of artificial lights and speedboats are also banned for obvious reasons.

With just one baby turtle surviving out of 1,000 eggs it is extremely important that these measures are put in place in order to prevent the sea turtle population from extinction. A holiday in Northern Cyprus can be an extremely rewarding affair which allows you to contribute towards the welfare of the sea turtle whilst relaxing in the breathtaking scenery of this historic region.

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