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It is believed that turtles first entered the Mediterranean some 10,000 years ago. Two types of turtles now nest here: the Green (chelonia mydas ) and the Loggerhead(caretta caretta). Both are smaller than their Atlantic cousins and although they sometimes share the same foraging grounds at the mouth of the Mediterranean it appears that they do not mate with the ‘foreigners’. The Leatherback turtle (dermochelys coriacea ) is also occasionally seen in the Mediterranean but it does not nest here.
The principal nesting beaches for the Green turtle are in Cyprus and Turkey. The principal nesting beaches for the Loggerhead are in Greece, Cyprus and Turkey. Within Cyprus the most important nesting beaches are located on the Akamas and the Karpas peninsulars. Smaller rookeries exist in the Episkopi, Akrotiri and Dhekelia areas. In Episkopi we are fortunate to have both Loggerhead and Green turtles nesting on our beaches.