First report on two loggerhead turtle (Caretta caretta) nests in the Aeolian Archipelago (Southern Italy)
From Firenze University Press Journal: Acta Herpetologica
Monica Francesca Blasi, Filicudi Wildlife Conservation
Sandra Hochscheid, Marine Turtle Research Group, Department of Marine Animal Conservation and Public Engagement
Roberta Bardelli, Department of Earth and Marine Science, University of Palermo
Chiara Bruno, Filicudi Wildlife Conservation
Carolina Melodia, Filicudi Wildlife Conservation
Perla Salzeri, Filicudi Wildlife Conservation
Paolo De Rosa AttivaStromboli
Paolo Madonia, Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanologia, Sezione di Catania
The Aeolian Archipelago (Sicily, Italy), composed of 7 islands and located in the Southern Tyrrhenian Sea (Italy), is of volcanic origin with both extensive neritic and oceanic habitats within short distances (Favalli et al., 2005), which provide optimal foraging and overwintering grounds for both immature and adult loggerhead turtles (Blasi et al., 2016; Blasi and Mattei, 2017; Blasi et al., 2018) and fall within the historical nesting range of loggerhead turtle, although the 1960s quotations were not supported by documented data (Mingozzi et al., 2007).Italy hosts regular nesting events along the Ion-ic coasts of the southern Calabria and in the Pelagian Islands (Linosa and Lampedusa; Mingozzi et al., 2008). Irregular nesting events are also reported on the coasts of Sicily, Sardinia, Apulia and the Ionic coasts of Basilicata and Calabria. However, in recent years, a significant increase in the numbers of nests along the Italian coasts has been reported, with 30–40 nests estimated per year up to 70 nests recorded in 2018, through a survey carried out on the Ionian coasts of Calabria, facing the Messina strait (Mingozzi et al., 2007) and in Sicily (Casale et al., 2012).
In Sicily there are numerous suitable coasts for loggerhead turtle nesting; nesting events are also occasion-ally reported by tourists or local people. For example, in 2011, seven nests were reported along the coasts close to Palermo and on the southern Sicily (Casale et al., 2012). Even though many potential nesting sites are not adeguatelly monitored and consequently the actual nesting level and distribution in several areas remain partially unknown. Here we report data on two nesting events by loggerhead turtles at Stromboli and Lipari islands (Aeolian Archipelago) in summer 2019. Our data represent the first official documentation showing that the Aeolian Archipelago could host irregular nesting events, and suggest a higher monitoring and conservation efforts to increase the chance of positive hatchings of these sites.
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