Turtle nests around British Forces bases in Cyprus are thriving thanks to conservation efforts by the Ministry of Defense (MoD) and civilian volunteers.
The Ministry of Defense said that in 2022 a total of 172 green turtle and loggerhead turtle nests in the western and eastern Sovereign Base Areas (SBA) and in Akrotiri, Episkopi and Dhekelia, home of British forces supporting operations in the region, have been identified.
Conservation work is carried out by volunteers made up of military and civilian personnel who oversee all nesting beaches.
In addition to reporting turtle tracks, they also report illegal and harmful activities, which may include overnight camping and lighting bonfires at late-night beach parties.
The Sovereign Base Areas Administration (SBAA) Environment Department is coordinating work to protect the turtles, working with volunteers and the SBA Police Department.
Alexia Perdiou, SBAA Environment Officer, said: “We are pleased to see the increasing number of turtle nests on the bases’ beaches in recent years, which is due to the important work we are doing together with our legion of military and civilian volunteers – Beaches patrol and search for turtle tracks in the early morning hours every day during the summer months.
“We are careful not to interact directly with turtles or hatchlings and ensure nesting sites are protected from both human activity and invasive predators which combined with broader conservation efforts across Cyprus will ensure these incredible animals continue to flourish thrive.”
The SBAA is also supported by the Defense Infrastructure Organization (DIO), which provides stewardship funding for conservation work protecting breeding beaches to meet shared goals and legal obligations to protect designated sites and habitats.
The Environmental Advisor to DIO’s Cyprus Technical Service, David Reynolds, said he was “very pleased” with the increase in breeding success, adding: “This is the result of a unique and strong partnership spanning many years of hard work, and now we can really start to see the results of our work.’
MORE : Ultra-luxury submarine promises 360-degree underwater visibility and 18km/h top speed
MORE : Turtles and tortoises have figured out how to slow the aging process, study shows
Get the top news, feel-good stories, analysis and more
https://metro.co.uk/2022/12/29/turtles-are-thriving-in-cyprus-thanks-to-the-british-armed-forces-18007022/ Turtles are thriving in Cyprus thanks to British forces