The Israel Sea Turtle Rescue Center




Nile Softshell Turtles

19.07.2018

Israeli nature is a home for other species of turtles in addition to sea turtles. In addition to the local spur-thighed tortoise (Testudo graeca), the Balkan pond turtle (Mauremys rivulata) and in some coastal streams – the Nile softshell turtle as well. The shell of the Nile softshell is covered with a smooth layer of skin that gives it the appearance of soft tissue, hence its name.

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Sea Turtles – an endangered species! Why?

The population of green sea turtles (Chelonia mydas) and loggerhead turtles (Caretta caretta) in the Mediterranean Sea has fallen dramatically over the past 100 years. From the day they hatch they are exposed to hazards and dangers. They face not only natural predators and disease, but also threats from human activities on the beach and at sea; all of these have led all seven species of sea turtle worldwide to the brink of extinction. Sea turtles are also hunted illegally worldwide, and are harmed by unintentional fishing, pollution at sea and on beaches and loss of habitat and nesting grounds.

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Mating season – Nesting on the eggs

The Israel Nature and Parks Authority has been working since the 1980s to protect turtle eggs and their hatchlings. Every year during laying season (from May to August), Israel Nature and Parks Authority rangers scan the beaches each morning looking for sea turtle tracks. In places where they find tracks made by females when they emerge from the sea to lay their eggs, they concentrate their efforts on finding and rescuing nests.

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