DEKAMER: Source of Life for Sea Turtles

16.07.2013
DEKAMER Sea Turtle Rescue Center has been carrying out rehabilitation of injured sea turtles brought from all over Turkey while center’s volunteers purse the endeavor of protecting the sea turtles visiting Iztuzu Beach for nesting this year as well. Approximately 15 volunteers from different parts of the world work for the center rotating periodically each month.

DEKAMER Sea Turtle Rescue Center is the first sea turtle rehabilitation center in Turkey built at Iztuzu Beach in 2008 and gained an official form in 2009 according to the joint protocol among the General Directorate of Protection of Natural Assets, General Directorate of Nature Conservation and National Parks, Municipality of Dalyan and Pamukkale University. Since it was established, 80 injured turtles have been brought to the center which has been conducting scientific studies and conservation practices as well as rehabilitation activities.

The center has been improving its capacity further more in each year through raising funds including sponsorship by Municipality of Dalyan and private sector besides the support from the Ministry of Environment and Urbanization.
The center runs its operations with the permanent staff while about 100 volunteers also support the activities of the center every year. Besides the rehabilitation and protection of sea turtles, Soft-Shelled Nile Turtle (Trionyx trinunguis) which is another endangered species is also studied with the support of the Ministry.

There are many graduate students carrying out their scientific researches in the center. Volunteers actively take part in the operations and also enjoy the common life experience in one of the coolest beaches of the world.
DEKAMER team and volunteers have gone through such a busy nesting season in June that made the team to say “the turtles must be crazy!” On the other hand DEKAMER staff also pointed out the increase in the number of injuries because of deliberate violent attacks of people, speedboat crashes, ghost nets highlighting that it is a must to give good care to the sea turtles which is gift to our seas.

DEKAMER Sea Animal Ambulance

DEKAMER started operating a Sea Animal Ambulance this year which makes the interventions to the injured sea animals quicker. The injured animal is diagnosed via x-ray and ultrasound scanners as soon as it is brought to the center. Following the diagnosis, the treatment is decided. It is critical to scan the sea turtle with ultrasound scanner since it is the nesting season and the animal might be carrying eggs.  Through x-ray, fishing hooks are identified in the animal and directs the treatment.

Since the establishment, 83 sea turtles have been treated and 36 of those successfully were release to sea after the compilation of the treatment at the center. 11 sea turtles are still under care. This year, 6 of 14 injured sea turtles in the center have had head injuries, 4 of them have had fishing line injuries and finally 4 of them have had other types of injuries while 3 sea turtles were released to sea after successful treatment at the center.

For further information:  http://caretta.pau.edu.tr/



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