The sole surviving hatchling of the only loggerhead sea turtle nest found in Spain this year has greeted the world for the first time in a new video from the Oceanographic Foundation in Valencia.
The sleepy baby sea turtle, which reportedly weighed only 13 grammes at the time of her birth, is seen making her way through the egg as she cracks open her shell after she was transferred to the foundation’s veterinary clinic along with 30 other eggs or potential hatchlings.
The details were confirmed in a statement Newsflash obtained from the Oceanographic Foundation in the city of Valencia in Spain.
The loggerhead sea turtle (Carreta carreta) eggs were transferred to the clinic after a laying took place on the beaches of Guadamar del Segura in the province of Alicante in Spain, on 26th July, according to the statement.
This was after they were found on the beach by a passer-by who called emergency services which activated the action protocol of the Valencian Community Stranding Network.
The eggs were then taken to the clinic while the hatchling’s mother was placed back in the ocean with the help of a rescue team and a satellite transmitter that tracked its geolocation installed by the Polytechnic University of Valencia.
Only two of the eggs were found to be fertile back in the clinic and only one baby loggerhead sea turtle managed to hatch.
Loggerhead sea turtles are listed as vulnerable by International Union for Conservation of Nature (ICUN).
They can be found in the Mediterranean Sea as well as the Indian, Pacific and Atlantic Ocean while females reportedly come ashore to lay their eggs.
After her birth, the hatchling was placed in a special heated drawer or a hatcher with a bed of sea sand where she will be supplied with food in the form of egg yolks and whites.
She will then be placed in a tank area that has been specially adapted for hatchlings known as the Recovery Centre for Marine Fauna (ARCA del Mar) where she will practice diving and learn other skills.
Nine loggerhead sea turtle populations are currently under the protection of the Endangered Species Act which was created to protect critically endangered species in 1973.
Four of the nine populations are listed as threatened while five are listed as endangered.
The decline in their numbers is due to a low birth rate, the causes of which are still unknown in Guadamar del Segura, despite the fact that several factors have been taken into consideration, including a high number of eggs laid each year along with inexperienced mother loggerhead sea turtles, according to the statement.
The World Wildlife Foundation goes on to state that while loggerhead sea turtles are less likely to be hunted for their meat than other sea turtles, human activities can have a negative effect on their populations while their threats include bycatch, or coming into contact with fishing gear.