Katie loved Northern Cyprus and visited often. She felt it was her second home as everyone was so friendly and welcoming.
One trip she visited the SPOT turtle conservation centre and watched a loggerhead lay her eggs on the beach, she was hooked, all she talked about was the turtle work and followed SPOT on Facebook with the intention to visit again and see how she could help. Unfortunately, due to illness, she was never able to make that journey and she passed away in 2021. It seemed fitting as a family that we raise money in her name and have used this to sponsor a turtle through SPOT. To be able to track Katie turtle on her travels is going to be a huge comfort for the family and our small part in carrying out her wishes.
Safe journey Katie, we can’t wait to try and meet you next time you come into Alagadi beach.
The Devlin Family.
Marine turtles are migratory, feeding in one place and migrating, often thousands of miles, to nesting sites where they breed and lay their eggs. The sea turtle nesting beaches in North Cyprus are identified, well studied and the most important beaches are largely protected. However, after turtles leave the nesting beaches and swim away, we have little idea where they go, yet these areas are where the turtles spend most of their lives. That was until the late 1990s when we began to invest in satellite tracking. The only way that we can track a sea turtle in the open ocean is to attach a transmitter and wait for uplinks to be received. If we can find out where the turtles migrate to, we can help to reduce the threats both at that location and along their migratory pathways, through sharing data and collaboration with other countries.
Since 1998 over 100 satellite transmitters have been attached to marine turtles breeding and foraging in North Cyprus. From these studies, we now know that none of the turtles breeding in North Cyprus leave the Mediterranean. The majority migrate to the North African coast where we have identified several key foraging sites for both green and loggerhead turtles including the Nile Delta and Lake Bardawil in Egypt, the Gulf of Bomba in Libya and the Gulf of Gabes in Tunisia where many loggerheads nesting in Greece also forage. Less than 10% of those tracked stay in Cyprus post-breeding, possibly because of heavy fisheries bycatch mortalities.
You can read our published tracking studies at the scientific publications page.