- Geographical scale of the assessment:
- Regional, Mediterranean Sea
- Contributing countries:
- No national data was available for this assessment.
- Mid-Term Strategy (MTS) Core Theme:
- 2-Biodiversity and Ecosystems
- Ecological Objective:
- EO1: Biological diversity is maintained or enhanced. The quality and occurrence of coastal and marine habitats and the distribution and abundance of coastal and marine species are in line with prevailing physiographic, hydrographic, geographic and climatic conditions.
- IMAP Common Indicator:
- Common Indicator 3 (CI3): Species distributional range (Marine reptiles)
- Indicator Assessment Factsheet Code:
GES Definition: The species continues to occur in all their natural range in the Mediterranean, including nesting, mating, feeding and wintering and developmental (where different to those of adults) sites.
- State: Turtle distribution is not significantly affected by human activities;
- State: Turtles continue to nest in all known nesting sites.
- Pressure: Protection of known nesting, mating, foraging, wintering and developmental turtle sites.
- Pressure: Human activities having the potential to exclude marine turtles from their range area are regulated and controlled.
- Pressure: The potential impact of climate change is assessed.
This assessment presents a brief overview of the known distribution range of loggerhead and green sea turtles at breeding, foraging and wintering grounds, based on published data. Sea turtles are an ideal model species to assess the selected indicator, as their populations are dispersed throughout the entire Mediterranean, as discrete breeding, foraging, wintering and developmental habitats (Casale & Margaritoulis, 2010), making the two sea turtle species a reliable indicator on the status of biodiversity across this region. Therefore, the objective of this indicator is to determine the species range of sea turtles that are present in Mediterranean waters.
This assessment presents a brief and general overview of the distributional range of two marine turtle species to identify existing knowledge and knowledge gaps for use in elaborating the national monitoring programmes for biodiversity. Published information by regional and national surveys and research projects were used to compile the review, but this overview does not present a comprehensive assessment of existing knowledge.
Results and Status, including trends
This general overview reconfirms that most nesting sites of loggerheads are located in the eastern and central basins of the Mediterranean, in particular in Greece, Turkey, Cyprus and Libya, while all green turtle nesting sites are located in the eastern basin, primarily Turkey, Syria and Cyprus. The number of nests found at different sites is not just dependent on climate, but other factors, like predation, sand type/structure etc. Most research has been conducted on nesting beaches; consequently, detailed information about marine habitat use at developmental, foraging and wintering grounds and how these areas connect with one another and the overlap in use by multiple populations is still missing.
This general overview stresses the importance of assimilating all available information on the distribution of sea turtles at breeding, foraging, developmental sites and how these areas are connected to understand the distribution patterns of sea turtles at the size class, population and species level to select key areas for protection. Parallel mitigation strategies are required to build the resilience of existing populations.
- This general overview stresses the importance of assimilating all information on the distribution of green and loggerhead sea turtles in the Mediterranean at breeding, foraging, developmental and wintering grounds to understand how these areas are connected when considering different size classes, populations and species for effective conservation management.
- Parallel mitigation strategies are required to build the resilience of existing populations.
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