Study of predation and anthropogenic threats to loggerhead and Nile softshelled turtles in Turkey

Meryem Tekin

Dalyan Turkey is one of the very few places where the Nile and loggerhead turtles can both be found nesting. Studies have been conducted on loggerheads all over the world with little on Nile turtles. Dalyan is a protected area however individual species aren't protected. With residential development taking place in the woodlands more predators such as the foxes (Vulpes vulpes) are moving towards the shore in search of sanctuary. They are now predating the eggs of both turtle species; there are also a number of anthropogenic factors impacting their survival. Dalyan draws many tourists to see the Delta, Beach, mud baths and turtles. Locals are feeding both species to show visitors, encouraging the turtles to remain in heavy boat traffic areas, putting them at high risk of propeller and boat impact injuries. The aim of the project is to record the number of turtles in Dalyan with surveys, questionnaires and observations combined with recording and protecting both species nests from predation, in turn using this information to increase public awareness. Whilst more attention is given to the loggerhead globally, the local Nile turtle’s nests in recent years were entirely predated therefore requiring urgent protection.