On the night of 28th July 2018 a sea turtle of the species “Caretta Caretta” has nested and deposited 98 eggs, at a distance of 13 meters from the shoreline, in the small beach of Santa Lucia which is about a kilometer north of Castiglioncello. Coincidentally that night a bather who was on the beach witnessed the event and warned the Coast Guard and the Port Authority that together with the volunteers of the WWF of Livorno, of Tartamare, of the ARPAT Toscana, the experts of the Livorno Aquarium and the University of Siena immediately proceeded to delimit and monitor the area. After a few days and exactly August 8, 2018, probably the same turtle, has made a second nest by depositing 93 eggs this time at a distance of about 9 meters from the water’s edge.
Following the inspection after a storm the second nest, closer to the water’s edge, was found flooded and the eggs were no longer viable. The transfer of the first nest has been decided, with all the risks associated with this operation, in a safer place. The Bagno Italia in the Quercetano Bay in Castiglioncello gave the availability by making available the necessary spaces. The transfer took place on 28th August by transferring 93 eggs (4 were taken for scientific studies 1 was found broken). The nest was monitored daily with various measurements and in particular the incubation temperature. The births, according to calculations and knowledge, could take place from the 42nd day, starting 8th September onwards.
This event is of particular importance because it is the “Caretta Caretta” sea turtle nest further north of the Mediterranean Sea. The questions that this fact raises are many, but in particular confirms climate change with the consequent rise in temperature in the Mediterranean Sea.
On the night of September 23rd (at 11pm) the first turtle was born “Italia” and the name was given to thank the Bagno Italia of the collaboration, on the night of September 26th (at 9pm) two other turtles were born and finally on September 27th (at 9pm) another 2 turtles were born that we document in this video. Then the experts, considering that there were no longer any conditions for further births, proceeded to withdraw the remaining eggs and close the nest.
The video footage made during the night could not use illuminators because they would disturb and disoriented the little turtles; the only lights that could be used were of special brightness that did not disturb too much and allowed to follow the arrival of the little turtles to the sea.