A sea turtle (illustration). - Robert Cohen / AP / SIPA
A sea turtle of the Caretta Caretta species, or loggerhead turtle, came to lay its eggs in the middle of Sablettes beach, the large public beach in the heart of Fréjus in the Var. This laying, extremely rare in mainland France, took place in the night from Friday to Saturday, said Sidonie Catteau, local referent of the Network of marine turtles of the French Mediterranean (RTMMF) and project manager at the Marineland association, confirming information from Var-Matin .
Eggs 20 cm deep
"We went to make sure that the turtle observed on this beach had laid well and, indeed, we saw by clearing sand the eggs in the nest at 20 cm deep," explained Sidonie Catteau, stressing that we immediately filled the nest after identification. A protection system has been put in place around the nest and the staff of the city of Fréjus as well as that of the agglomeration will take turns to monitor the premises.
The traces of another turtle were also observed this weekend on another beach in Fréjus, but further from the city center, in Saint-Aygulf, without the teams of specialists dispatched on the spot being able to find any nest. In 2016, a loggerhead turtle had already come to lay eggs on this same beach in Saint-Aygulf. After two and a half months, four eggs had hatched and the turtles, helped by scientific teams, had been able to reach the sea.
Warming of the surface of the Mediterranean
The Observatory of sea turtles in mainland France notes a more regular breeding activity since 2016 for this protected species. He attributes the reason to the increase in surface temperature in the French Mediterranean in recent years.
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