Nature Trust and ERA were last night alerted to a loggerhead turtle nest in the sand at Fajtata Bay (St Thomas Bay) in Marsascala.
“Unfortunately, the nest discovered contained recently-dead hatchlings. The nest was just on the central area of the beach and so must have been unknowingly heavily trampled by beach-users all summer,” Nature Trust said in a Facebook post.
The nest was dug up by ERA and Nature Trust Officials in the presence of Dr Grupetta, a Vet. Nature Trust siad that only one very weak hatchling was found alive but died minutes later.
The nest contents have now been taken to investigate the cause of death and to take DNA samples.
In their statement Nature Trust labelled this as a sad incident where an unknown nest could not be given adequate protection to increase the chances of a successful hatching on Malta’s busy beaches.
They thanked ERA, Red Cross and the general public for their help and cooperation, and Jane from NTM Wildlife rescue team for being first on site until the rest of the officials arrived.
Moreover, NTM will now include the Fajtata beach in its pre-nest season patrols in the future since no one this year had noted a turtle nesting in the area. For this reason Nature Trust will once again extend its appeal for more volunteers to help next May, adding that training would be given.
Photo: Nature Trust Malta