Turtle-Blog

Sa

02

Sep

2017

2017 - Going into the final stretch

Our sea turtle course is slowly drawing to a close for 2017. It was an action-filled season (like every year, of course!). To give you a slight idea, this morning’s shift saved many hatchlings from certain death: 30 hatchling were freed from under a stone in one nest, in another, two hatchlings emerged in the morning and remained disoriented on top of the nest, where they would have soon succumbed to the heat: we carried them across a very wide cobble zone and brought them the water’s edge, where they successfully crawled the last few meters into the sea. In our final action, we were able to locate 4 hatchlings that had become completely entrapped in the maze of wooden walkways and sunbeds of a 5-star megahotel complex (built on the beach, of course….). It was all in a day’s work. One part of the team is heading back to Vienna this weekend, and the final group is staying another week, during which many of the remaining nests are expected to hatch and we can update our datasheets with the final excavation data. The work with our Turkish hosts from Pamukkale University has been exemplary the whole season. The hard work day and night makes for tight friendship and trust!  Michael

 

Mi

19

Jul

2017

A turtely worthy adventure!

Humble, kind and ponderous in her movements – like the gentle elderly lady in the neighborhood who waves you good morning – is the marine turtle.
Elusive for many years in the open ocean, she eventually returns to lay her eggs at her natal beach after traveling thousands of miles over more than a dozen years.
With at least mutual fascination for this intriguing being, it was she who brought students of several courses of study together in a project aiming for her well-being and protection. Because we all love our adopted granny.
For many of us Austrian students, seeing these beings may have remained a matter of luck during a holiday trip. Thanks to the work of many engaged people for two decades, however, we were granted the opportunity to gain a glimpse into the real world of active, hands-on and in-the-field management and conservation of an endangered species.
The joint Sea Turtle Project of the University of Vienna and the Turkish Pamukkale University of Denizli brought two groups of Austrian and Turkish students to the small camp behind the promenade of Fethiye’s Çaliş Beach. The small eucalyptus forest there would become our home for the next five weeks and adventure sure to ensue!
Now of course, we were not going to arrive without proper ztaining and instruction, which the seminar in Vienna made sure to deliver with a pinch of excitement!
Back at the seminar, we were a small group of students, slowly befriending the thought of becoming teammates and looking forward to an adventure we approached with excitement as well as respect for the hard work yet to come.
What experiences will we make? Will our humble expectations be met? Will we live up to our own expectations and exceed them as we grow as persons?
On 2 July our time has finally come. With a slight, yet pleasant detour over the Greek island of Kos,
a ride with the ferry to Turkey and four-hour car ride to Fethiye, we finally arrived at our camp to claim our little territories within the forest to erect our tents, span our hammocks and further spend the evening getting to know our Turkish colleagues. A fun bunch who introduced us to the çay way of life!
Our first day would introduce us all to the Çaliş morning shift to get to know the beach and the already laid nests. Thus, it soon became clear to us that the idyllic walk on the beach would be a straining and demanding run against time: the major tourism we had been told about became clear as day during the first evening when the lights of the promenade restaurants and hotels illuminated the nesting beach and the bass of music drowned our words. Just a taste of what may come.
However, with the energy we brought along from home, we were first going to learn of the work we will be doing. Nestled in, there was much to learn and, of course, our first adult turtles to encounter!

Second day around noon, we get a call: a Chelonia mydas was beached at Çaliş and brought to our camp. A large male, unfortunately dead... His carapace was overgrown with algae and his skin covered in barnacles, stiffening his joints. He had not been moving much for a very long period of time. Whether it was due to old age, as his body did not indicate any external wounds, or due to internal issues leading to starvation remains unclear. As he was brought to the The Sea Turtle Rescue Center (DEKAMER) for necropsy, our first rare turtle would be a harsh reminder of the condition of these endangered animals.

Now our real work would begin. Learning to triangulate nests, walking the beaches and getting to know the hotels and nests, becoming familiar with the data sheets and becoming used to walking through the sand, cobble stone beaches in the dark of the night, and train our eyes to distinguish trash and wood from an actual turtle.
Yes, we have more than once stopped in our tracks to observe a car tire in the dark, waiting for it to move. So, for as long as we didn’t see the-real-thing, each well-placed footprint and human buttocks print on the sand became turtle tracks in our eyes. Much to the amusement of our experienced colleagues!

Not much later though, on the more nature-touched beach of Yaniklar, the first team became lucky to encounter their first adult Caretta caretta! Seeing these big creatures make their way on land, so graspable, was a lasting impression. Thrown right into the action, they measured their first turtle and observed her being tagged, while for others, including myself, the waiting game began. Each shift would remain a simple walk with no adult, but tracks to record. Though even with no adult to observe, the tracks ever so often told their own stories. Tracks running into sunbeds and parasols, meandering back and forth between trash and car tracks. Stories of unsuccessful emergences onto the shore due to either unfavorable beach conditions or human interference.

Outside of our shifts we came together to eat breakfast and dinner as a group and the first humbly anticipated meals turned out to be a king’s feast! Each team brought their own cooking skills into the kitchen, serving the group delicious meals! We jokingly decided to open up a restaurant after our five weeks with all the new recipes we picked up. In between the meals, we took our hours of wake time and took the Dolmuş to the city center of Fethiye for the bazar and market.
Bargaining and delicious foods, cay, cheese, olives and lokum! This is what we decided to live off for the next few weeks! Many locals here know resident members of the Sea Turtle Project Team and welcomed us newbies warmly with drinks and sweets!
And speaking of locals, the number of kind people offering us their assistance is astounding. From the kind owners of Keyif Café between the promenade and our camp offering us electricity and internet, to the hotel receptionists printing our data papers on request despite struggling with their own business. We have surely received more invitations to
çay than names we can remember! Even outside of our shifts as we walk the promenade, people greet us and thank us for our effort. Their interest in the number of nests and experiences they share with us feel like gentle encouragement to our work when the stress and lack of sleep gnaw on our nerves.

The time we spend outside of the camp proved to be a welcome distraction from the working-sleeping routine we started to develop. Our nights grew shorter to non-existent when late-night shifts merged with the morning shifts, our words became jumbled and hammocks our best friends during the day. But “fear not!” we were told, soon we would accommodate to the rhythm and schedules and ease into the work flow. Though for right now…that seemed far away.

Lastly, by the end of the week, when the last three of us had begun drawing lucky turtles on our hands, wishing to finally encounter our own first turtle…the time had come. Right before we were to turn the corner into our camp, a dog loudly drew our attention to the beach and there she was!
A large female, slowly digging through the sand.
“Camp, we have a female in front of Keyif Café, wake those who haven’t seen one!” my message rang through the walkie-talkie when I could catch the breath I was holding at the sight of her.
With the project T-shirts hastily thrown over our nightgowns, more of the team rushed to the beach section right in front of our camp so the few last of us could – for the first time – witness a sea turtle lay her eggs and thoroughly cover her little treasure in the sand. Watching this spectacle for the first time is one of those unforgettable moments in life. I’m sure I will remember her tag and nest number for a very long time and I cannot help but smile every time I pass the protective cage we placed over her nest.

 

None of us could grasp what our lives would look like today, one week after our arrival. Though now I can say that as sleep became a scarce requisite, the team spirit grew and welded us closer together.
A boat trip with friends sealed our week with celebration! Diving into the azure blue Mediterranean and dancing on the deck of the boat, indulging in traditional Turkish food. This was a moment to be lived again! Next stop: Hatchling Season and Butterfly Valley! 

Do

25

Aug

2016

Caretta caretta - Camp Update August 2016

Natürlich sind wir 2016 auch auf „unseren“ Stränden in Fethiye, diesmal unter der Führung von der Universität Pamukkale.

Die Voluntärarbeit läuft hervorragend, wechselnde Kochdienste zwischen den Teams sorgen für abwechslungsreiche Kost. Und heuer ein Novum: eine Waschmaschine! Außerdem hat sich eine Katzenmama mit ihrem Baby bei uns eingenistet. Im brennholzbefeuerten Samovar wird 24/7 Chai gekocht – ganz nach dem Motto „Ҫay yoksa hayat da yok“ (Kein Chai, kein Leben)!

Das Leben im Eukalyptuswald ist mit der Meeresbrise gut auszuhalten, aber „Draußen“ herrschen mittags Temperaturen über 40°C! 

Wir sind nun in der Mitte der Saison angelangt und können von zahlreichen Erfolgen berichten. Die Hatchlinge sprudeln nur so aus ihren Nestern (siehe unser neues Video „the fastest hatchling emergence ever“), gerade leeren sich auch die letzten Nester in Ҫalis. Wie in vergangenen Jahren ist der Erfolg der einzelnen Nester sehr unterschiedlich, neben einigen prädierten Nestern (wahrscheinlich Füchse) beobachteten wir heuer aber auch gänzlich geschlüpfte Nester. Allgemein gab es einige Verbesserungen aber auch Rückschläge bezüglich der Nutzung der Strände durch touristische Einrichtungen – ein Kampf gegen Windmühlen…

Auch heuer begrüßen zahlreiche Besucher bei unserem Infostand, wobei die Mehrsprachigkeit des Gesamtteams eine grundlegende Rolle spielt!

 

Mehr als 4000 Kilometer und unzählige Stunden – für unser aller Schildkröten!

 

We are of course once again busy working on „our“ beaches in Fethiye in 2016, this time under the direction of Pamukkale University. The volunteer work is proceeding very nicely and camp life is smooth.

The Austrian and Turkish students alternate in the cooking and kitchen duties, making for a very diverse range of food treats. The wood-fueled samovar is glowing day and night, so there is always enough tea to get us pepped up for a shift or to greet the warriors upon their return from the beach patrols. And this year we experienced a new luxury, namely a washing machine!

We are now in the peak of the season and the hatchlings are emerging from their nests in great numbers (see our new 17-second video “the fastest hatchling emergence ever”). The range of nesting success is wide, from almost entirely predated (foxes) to fully hatched.

Overall, there have been some improvements and some setbacks regarding the use of the beaches by tourism facilities – the usual fight against windmills…

Finally, we are happy to have interacted with numerous visitors at our information booth on the promenade. The language skills of the overall team come in very handy indeed!

 

Thousands of hours and thousands of kilometers on the beach for Turkey’s turtles!

1 Kommentare

Mi

01

Jun

2016

"…you engage in something meaningful"

Interview with Lisa Bauer, marine biologist.

Lisa participated in the sea turtle course in 2008.

What brought your attention to our Sea Turtle Course? Why did you want to participate?

I have always been interested in conservation biology, fieldwork and applied science. Moreover, it was a great chance to work abroad and get to know a different culture. Also volunteering during your studies is a good way to gain professional experience, life experience and…you engage in something meaningful. Very few people only have the chance to witness nesting or hatching sea turtles!

 

What was your most memorable experience in that summer in Turkey?

The most memorable experience was definitely spending time with a nesting Caretta caretta! There was nobody on the beach except my colleague, me and the turtle! Imagine you patrol on an almost pitch-black beach at night and all of a sudden, you see something in front of you, moving: A nesting female! You throw yourself on the ground, rob closer and watch the female digging a hole in the sand, laying eggs and covering the nest thereafter. Spending your night with a nesting female, an almost rare event nowadays, is an experience you will never forget!

The second memorable experience was making Turkish friends and getting to know the culture and different places, apart from the sea turtle camp. Don’t worry, your days will not be filled with work only, you will find plenty of time to enjoy, make new friends and have fun! Butterfly Valley is a place I fell in love with and will never forget.

 

What did you learn from the project?

Scientifically, I learned a lot about sea turtle biology, nest protection and monitoring, tagging, how to identify a net and nest excavation. In my current job, I profit a lot from this knowledge.

On a personal level, I gained valuable life experience. Spending time abroad, in an unfamiliar place with unfamiliar people and in a different culture, helps so put things into perspective. You will learn a lot about yourself and grow as a person.

 

Did it influence your career?

It certainly opened up a new world for me, the field of marine conservation. To protect and study sea turtles during the course was my first experience in the conservation field and I am very happy the course is still held and the project ongoing. In my opinion, only long-term conservational projects have a chance to make a difference.

 

What do you do now? Is your job sea turtle related?

I am one of a few lucky Austrians who work in the Maldives, as the resident marine biologist of the tourist resort Coco Bodu Hithi in North Male atoll. Since the Maldives are located in the tropics, my work involves coral reef ecology and conservation. Around my island and nearby, Hawksbill sea turtles (Eretmochelys imbricata) forage and last year in April we had a Green sea turtle (Chelonia mydas) nesting on the island.

My work focuses mainly on the local sea turtle population and together with any person (guests and colleagues) interested in our project (citizen science), I collect data, using the photo identification method. It is a completely non-invasive method, which benefits from the fact that sea turtles have unique scale patterns on the right and left side of their face. These scale patterns help us identify individuals. There is no need to tag the sea turtle in order to recognize it! You just need a (UW) camera and the willingness to spend a lot of time underwater, which is the dream of almost any marine biologist I know.

The conservation aspect involves creating awareness among guests and my colleagues. Since sea turtles are charismatic animals, everyone wants to see and swim with them. By granting a person this wish, building a connection to these endangered or vulnerable animal species, you can easily create awareness and might even change a person’s attitude. Sustainable tourism is one way to conserve a species and its habitat by protecting what generates revenue. I strongly believe that we reached a level of exploitation and destruction of natural resources, where actively protecting wild animals and their habitats is the only chance for their survival. Reconnecting people back to nature, sparking an interest and love in the natural world and the realization, that this very natural world is necessary for our own survival, are my daily targets.

 

 

If you would like to learn more about Coco Collection environmental initiatives and projects, please visit our blog http://cococares.wordpress.com. To learn more about our partner organisation “The Olive Ridley Project”, visit their website www.oliveridleyproject.org.

0 Kommentare

Do

03

Sep

2015

Yaniklar: hatchling time in September

In Yaniklar we had about 110 nests, of which 40 still remain to hatch. This is a near record over the last 20 years. Does this mean the first hatchlings we helped reach the sea back in the early 1990s are now returning in greater numbers? We like to think so! Every nest is a new and different challenge: yesterday we released 60 hatchlings that were trapped in an air cavity underneath a big stone. The weather in the evenings and mornings is getting noticeably cooler. So how about a project logo sweatshirt for next year to complement our T-shirts?

This is what it looks like when hatchlings emerge in the early morning. Can you count them? We have to, despite only a few hours of sleep since the last night shift.
This is what it looks like when hatchlings emerge in the early morning. Can you count them? We have to, despite only a few hours of sleep since the last night shift.
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So

23

Aug

2015

News from hatch time at Calis!

We are down to our last dozen nests here in Calis (from an almost record 32!). The last adult turtle emerged on 19 July. Nearly a thousand hatchlings have already reached the sea here. We expect the last nests to hatch by mid-September. We are also still encountering “secret” nests that we first discover when the hatchlings begin to emerge. And, of course, we are battling the usual beach bar and restaurant “expansions” on the beach. Our information booth is open every night and we have met and informed a bunch of interesting (and interested) people.

We earned a big breakfast at our camp after a big night shift and our early morning patrol

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So

19

Jul

2015

2015 - what happened so far...

We were very busy the last weeks! After building up the camps we started working on the beach and all of us saw some adult turtles laying their eggs on the beach! A few days ago hatching started in Calis and Akgöl and we also had our first excavation of a very successful nest. In our little spare time we went to see Butterfly Valley, went on a boat trip and had some cake at Karola's! The students couldn't be more motivated! This year we are working together with colleagues from Akdeniz Koruma Dernegi.

To be continued...

2 Kommentare

Fr

05

Sep

2014

Fauna

This year we had a littel side-project in our spare time: discovering the fauna of Fethiye! We made a list with over 100 detected and determined species! Fethiye with all its wetlands is a very important bird habitat - we could determine 45 species around the camp. Our special interests were also reptiles, insects and fish. We were lucky to see monk seals, flamingos and green turtles!

Our species list will soon be available for download!

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Mo

01

Sep

2014

Nesting season winding down

The loggerhead nesting season 2014 is slowly winding down, with a handful of nests remaining in both Calis and Yaniklar. The good news: we broke our 21-year record for nests in Calis, hitting the big Four O (40). Together with Yaniklar (and Akgöl) we have a good 100 nests and even today were surprised to find yet another "secret" nest (revealed by emerging hatchlings). The bad news: we have had quite a number of dead adult turtles being washed ashore (2 in one day last week, for example), meaning that we may be losing the adults faster than we are "producing" them. Also, the condition of the beaches continues its decline, this year marked by further incomprehensible encroachments of restaurants and bars, sand mining, and importantly the construction of a mega-complex at the end of Yaniklar beach (Karatas). We are nonetheless fighting the good fight and getting fantastic feedback at our information booth at the Calis beach promenade.

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Fr

15

Aug

2014

Hatchlings run to the sea!

Time of the hatchlings! Every night and morning we find tracks of hatchlings try to find their way to the sea. Depending on the beach, some nests are protected by cages, some nests are marked with a semicircle of stones. Why we need cages? in some areas of Fethiye nesting beaches suffers of heavy light pollution and as you may already know: hatchlings of sea turtles can get dis- and misorientated by artificial lights. They follow these lights and die of dehydration.

At Yaniklar beach we almost work without protective cages, but mark nests with semicircles made of stones. On this beach we count tracks of hatchlings in the early morning hours. But sometimes we also find hatchlings stuck inbetween big cobbles - without our help these hatchlings wouldn t survive.

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Mo

28

Jul

2014

Nest excavation at Yaniklar and Calis Beach!

Hatchling season has already started. It takes 3-6 days (e.g. depending on the grain size of the sand and location of the nest) until all hatchlings emerge and find their way to the . After the last baby turtle has hatched, we wait a couple of days -  then we open the nest to count all the eggs inside. We distinguish empty shells, unfertilized/fertilized eggs, embryonic state of fertilized eggs if possible, alive/dead hatchlings in nest,..... Furthermore we take measurements from the surface of the beach to the top of the eggs, depth of the egg chamber, diameter of the nest... That means you need to dig the nest out just like sea turtles do if you don't want to destroy the egg chamber!

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Di

22

Jul

2014

Indigo Turtles

As you already know, Hacettepe University invited us to work in Fethiye. This year their sea turtle society (EKAD) has a cooperation with MAVI, a turkish trademark which is famous for jeans and cool shirts. Mavi sponsored EKAD with a special shirt edition called "INDIGO TURTLE". Mavi and Orta Anadolu want to protect sea turtles with this project. Mavi takes the inspiration from the Mediterranean Sea. It is a limited edition! By buying this product you adopt 10 sea turtle hatchlings and you are helping the Mediterranean's oldest inhabitants to survive.

We are very honored and wear them proudly!

0 Kommentare

Mi

16

Jul

2014

Hatchling time at Fethiye nesting area!

We proudly present: at Yaniklar area and Calis area our first nests started to hatch on 15 July. To date we have 69 nests in the overall Fethiye nesting area. At Calis beach we opened our info booth and many people (locals and tourists) are very interested to get information about the loggerhead sea turtles and the threats they face. The morning shifts at our two nestings areas are very different: at Calis beach we put protective cages on the nests and we need to check and remeasure the positions daily. Normally this is not necessary in Yaniklar, where we simply mark each nest with asemi-circle of stones.

 

 

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Mi

09

Jul

2014

Merhaba from Fethiye nesting site

Now we are 10 days in Fethiye : time to give some informations! After our arrival  at Calis and Yaniklar beach, we were building up our camps, walking on morning and night shifts, painting and fencing new cages and cleaning up the information desk, which will open soon. This year we got invited from Hacettepe University to work with them on this project, which we really appreciate! Our team at Calis Beach had been really lucky, in the first night shift we have seen a loggerhead sea turtle nesting and on the second night shift 4! turtles. Each of them have made a nest. At Yaniklar Beach our team have seen a really huge loggerhead sea turtle with a carapace length of 0.88 m! Working day and night we are a little bit tired, but still full of energy! We also expect in a few days the first hatchlings! By now we have 20 nests at Calis Beach and 33 at Yaniklar Beach, and nesting season is not over yet! In our camp at Calis an "old" friend is living with us: Poyraz, the dog from last year is once again our lovely camp dog!

1 Kommentare

Fr

20

Jun

2014

Pirata del viento supports us!

Kiko with one of the silk printed cloth bag
Kiko with one of the silk printed cloth bag

After we became aware of his work through his beautiful silk printed Fair Trade T-shirts, we asked the artist KiKo aka Pirata del Viento  www.pirata-del-viento.com

whether he would like to support us by printing cloth bags for our information booth in Fethiye - and he simply said yes! Thank you for your support!

 

 

1 Kommentare

Fr

20

Jun

2014

Introducing the people behind our sponsors!

This blog post is dedicated to all our long-term sponsors and the people who make it possible.  We are very grateful and it is time to  introduce:

Dr. Josef Peterleithner, General Manager of TUI Austria, with us in the TUI Austria Headquarter
Dr. Josef Peterleithner, General Manager of TUI Austria, with us in the TUI Austria Headquarter

Dr. Josef Peterleithner, left, General Manager of TUI Austria.

TUI Austria/ GULET Austria has supported our students with stand-by-tickets to Turkey (and back, of course) since the beginning of this project! Thank you!

Dr. Harald Schwammer, Deputy Director of Zoo Vienna with us at Schönbrunn Zoo
Dr. Harald Schwammer, Deputy Director of Zoo Vienna with us at Schönbrunn Zoo

Dr. Harald Schwammer, Deputy Director of  Zoo Vienna, President of the Society of the Friends of Schönbrunn Zoo (second from left).

The Society of Friends of Schönbrunn Zoo has been a major supporter for 15 years! Thank you!

Evelyn Kolar and us in front of the new hammerhead shark tank
Evelyn Kolar and us in front of the new hammerhead shark tank

Mrs. Evelyn Kolar (second from right), Secretary of the "Blauer Kreis",

Austria Zoological Society for Animal and Species Conservation, has supported us for many years -  we are very grateful for this! Furthermore, the society has provided us with beautiful post cards for our information booth in Fethiye!

0 Kommentare

Fr

23

Mai

2014

News from the sea turtle team Vienna

Hello, it's been a while since we have written our last blog entry. But we haven't been lazy: you can find our new report on our homepage and we have started to prepare everything for a new turtle season. Our team of students is fixed, all of them have given a presentation and every Tuesday we give lectures and training to prepare them for the fieldwork and supply them with general information on sea turtles. Our preparations are almost completed and  we are looking forward to a great sea turtle season!

 

0 Kommentare

Mo

02

Sep

2013

Wildlife conservation days at Vienna Zoo

From 28 August until 1 September we had an information desk at Vienna Zoo´s Wildlife Conservation Days.  Four days we gave informations about our project and the threats sea turtles face and for the kids we had a small quiz about sea turtles!

All together it was very successfull for us, for the interested people and of course for all the other different conservation groups and the Vienna Zoo.

Our special thanks goes to Cornelia, Andrea, Sabrina and Tina - who helped us to run this information desk as great as it was!

2 Kommentare

Mi

07

Aug

2013

facing some dangers

There are lots of barriers to overcome for the turtles - starting from the nest, finding their way to the sea as hatchlings and surviving all the dangers in the ocean to come back to the beach where they were born twenty years later.

We made a trip to Dalyan. After we walked along the beautiful beach with more than 400 nests we went to the Rescue Center and saw the tanks with injured turtles. Most of the injuries were caused by fishery-equipment or by ship propellers.

In the nests, parasites can infest the eggs, such as larvae from Diptera or Tenebrionidae. Natural egg or hatchling predators at the beach are ghost crabs, birds, dogs, martens and hedgehogs. We try to do our best to prevent the nests from predation, but sometimes it's too late.

As we don't do nightshifts any more in Yaniklar, we spend our evenings with playing games. In Calis the nightshifts still go on and the number of nests increased up to 33!

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Di

30

Jul

2013

New nesting record in Calis!

This year we have a very successful nesting season in Calis! By now there are 31 nests on the beach, which is the highest number since 1994!

Five new students arrived in the last two weeks and the group who came first will leave this weekend.

Nearly every student had the chance to see an adult turtle and every morning we take care of the nests and the hatchlings. When the hatching is finished we excavate the nests to check the number of empty shells, fertilized and unfertilized eggs and dead hatchlings.

In Yaniklar we stopped going on night shifts, it's too dark to see the hatchlings there.

We also went on some trips in our spare time, made Marillenknödel for our friends and went to the bazar.

0 Kommentare

Do

18

Jul

2013

Yaniklar, the first two weeks.

After our arrival in Yaniklar we were busy with searching for nests and watching out for turtles. By now we have 49 nests and we were lucky to see four turtles laying eggs. Our first hatchlings emerged from the nests a few days ago. At the morning shifts we have a beautiful view along the nesting site in Akgoel. We feel very comfortable at our camp and enjoy relaxing at the Turkish corner or getting delicious food at Saban's restaurant.

0 Kommentare

Do

18

Jul

2013

the first two weeks in Calis

Our first two weeks were really busy. During daytime we built up the camp and nearly each night we found several nesting turtles. By now we have 26 nests in Calis and the nests that were laid at the end of May started to hatch already.

But still that wasn't enough work for us, so we opened the information desk on the promenade at the beginning of the second week.

In our rare spare time we relax in the hammock and cuddle our new camp dog Poyraz, who looks dangerous but is very cute!!!

Also the whole team was invited at Keyif Cafe to enjoy some of Carola's famous cake.

2 Kommentare

So

30

Jun

2013

ready for take off and getting the season started

ready for take off
ready for take off

Our first team of students arrived savely in Fethiye. Excited and highly motivated we started our first shifts on the beach. In Calis we were lucky to see two turtles laying eggs. There are already 20 nests in Calis and about 30 nests in Yaniklar. Seems to be a good season for the turtles!

 

0 Kommentare

Di

02

Apr

2013

Report 2012 & 20th anniversary of the Sea turtle field course

Der Bericht von 2012 ist endlich online! Schaut rein und blättert in den einzelnen Arbeiten über das jährliche Monitoring und den Bachelor-Arbeiten über Nistverhalten, Orientierung der Schlüpflinge, Nesttemperatur, Lichtverschmutzung, gestrandete Meeresschildkröten und Meso-Müll.

 

Dieses Jahr geht unser Kurs in die 20. Runde! Bereits seit 20 Jahren arbeiten wir nun mit verschiedenen türkischen Universitäten zusammen an Meeresschildkrötenstränden. Unser Langzeitmonitoring liefert somit wertvolle Beiträge zum Schutz der Meeresschildkröten in der Türkei.

Auch für diese Saison haben wir ein enthusiastisches Team von 20 Studenten, die wir in den kommenden Monaten auf die Feldarbeit vorbereiten.

 

Finally the report 2012 is online! Feel free to have a look into last year's work about the monitoring and bachelor thesis' about nesting behaviour, hatchling orientation, nest temperature, light pollution, sea turtle strandings and meso-litter.

 

This year our Sea turtle field course has it's 20th anniversary! Since 20 years we work together with several turkish Universities on Sea turtle beaches. Long term monitoring projects like this provide important informations for Sea turtle conservation.

We already have a full group of enthusiastic students, who we have begun to train for the field work.

 

0 Kommentare

Mi

30

Jan

2013

Neulich bei der Österreich Premiere von "Planet Ocean"!

Am 28. Jänner wurde im Naturhistorischem Museum Wien die Österreich Premiere vom Film "Planet Ocean" gefeiert  -  wir waren dabei!

Dr. Michael Stachowitsch hielt gemeinsam mit Dr. Jörg Ott, Dr. Daniel Abed-Navandi und Dr. Frank Zachos eine kleine Podiumsdiskussion!  Der von Yann Arthus-Bertrand und Michael Pitiot gedrehte und in Partnerschaft mit OMEGA produzierte Film Planet Ocean wurde erstmals auf dem Weltgipfel 2012 in Rio de Janeiro gezeigt. Laut Yann Arthus-Bertrand soll diese Dokumentation nicht moralisieren, sondern Aufmerksamkeit wecken.

Turtle News: Anfang März findet die erste Vorbesprechung für das Meeresschildkrötenprojekt statt - wir sind sehr gespannt auf die neuen Teilnehmer!

 

On 28 january the Austrian premiere of the movie "Planet Ocean" was celebrated in the museum of natural history - we were there!

Dr. Michael Stachowitsch together with Dr. Jörg Ott, Dr. Daniel Abed-Navandi and Dr. Frank Zachos held a small panel discussion. Yann Arthus-Bertrand and Michael Pitiot produced this movie in partnerhip with Omega. World premiere was held at the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development in Rio de Janeiro. The vision of Yann Arthus-Bertrand invites us to preserve the world's oceans and commit ourselves to respecting life and its beauty.

 

Turtle News: at the beginning of march we will have the first turtle meeting - we are looking forward to our new participants!

1 Kommentare

Sa

06

Okt

2012

Eine erfolgreiche Nistsaison, und weiter geht´s mit der Arbeit rund um die Meeresschildkröten! A successful nesting season and continuing work on sea turtles!

Zurück in Wien und weiterhin wird fleissig für das Meeresschildkrötenprojekt gearbeitet! Hier ein kleines Resümee über die Feldarbeit in Fethiye: trotz all den Widrigkeiten war es ein gutes Jahr - natürlich haben wir uns mehr Nester erhofft, aber die Vorhandenen sind von unseren Studenten optimal betreut worden!

 

Dieses Projekt wäre nicht möglich ohne die tolle Unterstützung unsere langjährigen Freunde und Sponsoren: Gulet Touristik und die Freunde des Tiergarten Schönbrunn! Unser Dank gilt auch Yunus und Orhan für ihre großartige Gastfreundschaft in ihren Camps! Vielen Dank sagen wir an Familie Gürtekin, die uns wie auch in den letzten Jahren Strom für den Infostand gegeben haben,  und uns immer geholfen haben, wenn nötig! Außerdem: Danke Karola für deine tollen Torten!

Danke an die Hotels, die uns immer wieder zum Essen eingeladen haben.

Und Danke an das Team der Universität Pamukkale für die gute Zusammenarbeit!

 

Von unserem Camphund in Calis - Lady- mussten uns wir nach 14-jähriger treuer Beschützerin unseres Camps heuer verabschieden. Mit einem für einen Strassenhund unglaublichen Alter von 16 Jahren!!! ist sie im August verstorben! Wir werden dich sehr vermissen!

 

Doch unsere Arbeit für die Schildkröten endete nicht mit dem Ende der Feldarbeit! Nachdem alle wieder in  Wien waren,  haben wir uns zu türkischem Essen getroffen und über die gesammelten Erfahrungen gesprochen. Unsere fleissigen Studenten haben bereits ihre Berichte und Bachelorarbeiten für den Jahresbericht geschrieben und uns abgegeben. Nun wird korrigiert, verbessert und zusammengefügt - schon bald kann man unseren Bericht hier runterladen!

 

Ausserdem halten wir weiterhin Vorträge (z.b. Internationales Symposium für Vivaristik) um auf die  dramatische Situation der Unechten Karettschildkröte aufmerksam zu machen.

 

 

Back in Vienna we are still working like bees for the sea turtles! A small resume about our fieldwork in Fethiye: against all odds it was a quite successful season, although we wished to find more nests! But the existing nests were perfectly monitored by our students!

 

This project would not be possible without the support of our long-term friends and sponsors: Gulet Touristik and Friends of the Vienna Zoo! Thank you,Yunus and Orhan, for your hospitality in your camps! Thanks to Carola (for your delicious cakes! :-) and her whole family for providing us with electricity for our camp and our information booth!

Thanks to all the hotels for inviting us for dinner! And last but not least thanks to the whole team of Pamukkale University for working to together so well!

 

After 16 years we had to say good bye to our beloved camp dog in Calis! Lady was a stray dog but used to live every year in our camp during the whole fieldwork season and protected us against strangers! She passed away this august - We will miss you!

 

Back in Vienna we met to talk about the whole season and all the experiences we have made in Turkey. By now our students wrote their reports and bacchelor thesis, now it is up to us to read and review. As quick as possible you can find the whole annual report  on our homepage!

 

And of course we still give talks (e.g. International Symposium of Vivaristic) about the dramatical situation of the loggerhead sea turtle!

 

1 Kommentare

Mo

03

Sep

2012

Going into the final phase

Unsere Feldarbeit geht in die Endphase. In Calis ist das letzte Nest für diese Saison bereits ausgegraben. Somit wurde auch unser Camp in Calis geräumt - alles wurde gut verstaut für nächstes Jahr.  Nun werden noch gut 24 Nester in Yaniklar von uns betreut. Obwohl es immer wieder Rückschläge gibt (siehe das Foto mit den Traktorspuren über einem Nest), ist jede kleine Meeresschildkröte, die das Meer erreicht, ein Bestätigung für unsere oftmals sehr anstrengende Arbeit. 

 

Our course is in the final phase - the last nest has been excavated in Calis and the camp there has been packed up for the winter. The team is now concentrating on the two dozen nests left in Yaniklar/Akgöl, although that number is dwindling fast. It's been an eventful nesting and hatching season (as usual), and the ultimate reward is to have played a role in helping the hatchlings to surmount the odds (stones, vehicles, beach debris, predators) to reach the sea!

0 Kommentare

So

19

Aug

2012

Calis Beach finale

Die Schlüpfsaison endet bald am Strand von Calis. Aus den zwei letzten Nestern schlüpfen gerade fleissig Jungtiere. Bis jetzt konnten wir über 350 Hatchlinge in Calis sicher ins Meer begleiten. Neben den ganzen Schichten und Informationsabende fuhren wir, die Augusttruppe auch nach Saklikent und gingen mit unserem Tauch-Guru Ibo in Butterfly Valley das Meer erkunden. Doch die Schildkrötensaison ist noch lange nicht zu Ende, das Calis Team zieht nach den letzten 2 Nestern nach Yaniklar in unser anderes Camp. Auf diesem Strand sind noch über 30 Nester, die es zu überwachen gilt!

 

The nesting season in the smaller of our two beaches, Calis, is slowly drawing to a close. Of the 10 nests here, the last two are still hatching and overall 350 hatchlings have reached the sea with our help. We expect to top 400 by the end of the week. Beyond our night and morning shifts, and the info hut work, we have managed day excursions to the gorge in Saklikent and scuba diving and snorkeling at Butterfly Valley and surroundings with our dive guru Ibo. Our team expects to move to the second beach, Yaniklar, this week, where about 30 nests are still waiting to hatch.  

Nest in beach section of Calis with dense sunbed and umbrella rows. We have put several cages around the nest to protect it from the 4 dogs that this restaurant owner keeps on the beach
Nest in beach section of Calis with dense sunbed and umbrella rows. We have put several cages around the nest to protect it from the 4 dogs that this restaurant owner keeps on the beach
Ready for Saklikent!
Ready for Saklikent!
1 Kommentare

Di

14

Aug

2012

Wir klettern und graben! Climbing and digging!

Ein Tagesausflug war angesagt! Ab in die Kühle einer wunderschönen Schlucht nur 1 Autostunde von Fethiye entfernt. In Saklikent mussten wir nicht nur klettern und wandern, sondern auch durch manche Passagen schwimmen - durchs eiskalte Wasser - eine willkommene Abwechslung für uns!

Erfrischt ging es nach Hause, wo wir in Calis am Abend in Hotels nun Vorträge (dreisprachig) halten. In Yaniklar müssen wir jeden Abend auf einen Standabschnitt Graben ausheben, da leider immer wieder Autos auf den Strand fahren und somit Nester und Jungtiere gefährden.

Doch unser Hauptaugenmerk gilt natürlich den Schildkröten - die Jungtiere schlüpfen fleissig aus ihren Nestern!

 

Time for a day trip to the beautiful gorge named Saklikent. Just one hour by a dolmus und we were there - ready to climb and due to heavy rains at springtime also swim through cold water! What a nice change for us!

In the evening we went back - ready and refreshed to give small talks in hotels in Calis and  to dig trenches to hinder vehicles to enter the beach in Yaniklar.

But of course the main focus of our attention is on our sea turtles nests - they are hatching uninterrupted!

1 Kommentare

Mo

06

Aug

2012

Artenschutztage im Zoo Schönbrunn. Conservation-days at Vienna's zoo Schönbrunn.

Von 2. bis 5. August fanden im Zoo Schönbrunn die Artenschutztage statt. Viele Naturschutzprojekte waren vertreten und auch wir waren dabei! Die Besucher waren zahlreich vertreten und sehr interessiert an unserem Projekt. Ein voller Erfolg für den Artenschutz!

Infos über die Artenschutztage gibts auch auf  http://www.zoovienna.at/

 

From 2nd till 5th of August we joined the Conservation-Days at Vienna's zoo Schönbrunn! Many interesting conservation projects were there. Numerous visitors came and were quite interested in our project! A complete success for conservation!

Get more informations about the conservation days at  http://www.zoovienna.at/

 

0 Kommentare

Mo

30

Jul

2012

Die Tücken des Meeres .. und Information ist alles!

Vor ein paar Tagen hat uns die Flut in Calis überrascht und ein paar Nester überspült. Damit die betroffene Eier durch die Nässe und Kühle nicht kaputt werden, wurde der nasse Sand im Nest gegen trockenen Sand ausgetauscht. Die Nester konnten leider nicht verlegt werden, da sie kurz vor dem Schlüpfen waren und aus 2 dieser Nester schlüpfen schon eifrig Jungtiere.

Unser Informationsstand wird jeden Abend von 21 - 24 Uhr betrieben. Viele Touristen sind sehr interessiert, manche kommen sogar öfters um Neuigkeiten zu erfragen.

 

 

A few days ago we were surprised by the flood in Calis and a few Nests were flooded. In order to protect the eggs from the wet and cold, so they will not die, the wet sand was exchanged by dry sand. Unfortunately the nests could not be relocated since they were about to hatch. Two of these nests have started to hatch in the mean time.

Our Informationbooth is open daily from 9 p.m. to 12 a.m. We have many tourist whchi are very interested, some of those return to be up to date.

 

 

1 Kommentare

Mo

23

Jul

2012

Behind the scenes

In den letzten Tagen haben wir in Yaniklar Spuren von Schlüpflingen gesucht,  verfolgt und Hatchlinge ins Meer begleitet. In Calis werden weiterhin Nachtschichten gegangen, da der Strand auch Nachts recht belebt ist. In Yaniklar gehen wir nur mehr Morgenschichten, da die Schlüpflinge in der Nacht sonst übersehen werden - dieser Strandabschnitt ist sehr dunkel und naturnah. Da wir nun mehr Leute sind und uns an die Arbeitszeiten zwischen 10 und 2 Uhr Nachts und ab 6 Uhr morgens gewöhnt haben, sind wir auch Tagsüber aktiver. Heute haben wir das Rescue-Center in Dalyan besucht. Dort werden verletzte Schildkröten versorgt und rehabilitiert. Am Strand von Dalyan gibt es zur Zeit ca 250 Nester!

In the past few days the Yaniklar team has searched, followed and escorted the hatchlings into the sea. Since the beach is quite active, Calis still has to do nightshifts while Yaniklar will only  walk the moringshifts from now on, considering that  the hatchlings might be overlooked on the dark and natural beach. Since we are now more people and we have finally got used to the worktimes between 10 p.m. and 2 a.m. and from 6 in the morning, we have become more active during the day. Today we went to visit the Rescue -Center in Dalyan, where they treat injured seaturtles and rehabilitate them. Their beach has approximately 250 Nests!

0 Kommentare

Mi

18

Jul

2012

Das große Krabbeln! Start of a big journey!

Unser Team ist am Wochenende wieder um 3 Leute gewachsen, einige türkische Kollegen mussten schon abreisen und einige neue sind dazugekommen! Die Zusammenarbeit läuft sehr gut! Sowohl in Calis, als auch in Yaniklar wurden wieder adulte Schildkröten gesichtet und die Anzahl der Nester ist wieder gewachsen. Am Montag haben wir uns alle zusammen auf einen Boat Trip begeben, wir hatten sehr viel Spaß! Und nun die beste Nachricht: die ersten Hatchlinge sind da! In Yaniklar haben wir derzeit viel damit zu tun die Schlüpflinge ins Meer zu begleiten und die Nester  zu schützen.

Our team grew last weekend with 3 additional people from Vienna. Some of the turkish colleagues had to leave but new ones have already arrived. We love working together! In Calis and also in Yaniklar we saw adult turtles and the number of nests are increasing. On Monday we all went on a boat trip together, it was great fun! And now the best news: The first hatchlings emerged from some nests in Yaniklar, so we are quiet busy with escorting the hatchlings to the sea and protecting the nests.

0 Kommentare

Mi

11

Jul

2012

Mehr Leute, mehr Spaß, mehr Schildkröten! More people, more fun, more turtles!

Am Wochenende sind neue Studenten aus Wien gekommen. Nun sind wir 7 Leute in Calis und 6 in Yaniklar. Die Arbeit läuft gut, in Yaniklar wurden in den letzten Tagen gleich mehrere Schildkröten gesichtet und die Anzahl der Nester wächst. In Calis tut sich gerade nicht so viel, aber wir hoffen das Beste! Wir haben nun etwas mehr Freizeit, die wir gleich genutzt haben um am Hafen zu frühstücken und einen Ausflug ins Butterfly Valley zu machen. Außerdem haben wir in Calis den Infostand geputzt und hergerichtet. Nun steht der Öffentlichkeitarbeit nichts mehr im Weg!

New students arrived at the weekend. Now we are 7 people in Calis and 6 in Yaniklar. Work runs well, in Yaniklar we saw several turtles and the number of nests is increasing. In Calis it's not so busy, but we hope the best! Now we have more spare time which we used to have breakfast at the harbour and we also made a trip to Butterfly Valley. Furthermore we prepared the Infodesk in Calis. So we can start to inform the tourists about our conservation work whithin the next days!

4 Kommentare

Sa

07

Jul

2012

Erste Müdigkeitserscheinungen und die Belohnung unserer Bemühungen. First signs of exhaustion and the reward for our hard work.

In den letzten Tagen haben wir das Camp gemütlich gemacht, waren täglich auf der Suche nach Schildkröten und haben unsere Kollegen am anderen Strand besucht.

Unsere Füße sind schon von der harten Arbeit gezeichnet, aber letzte Nacht wurden unsere Bemühungen in Calis belohnt! Nachdem wir schon in der Nacht zuvor einen erfolglosen Landgang beobachtet haben konnten wir in der gestrigen Nacht einen Bilderbuch-Nistvorgang sehen.

In Yaniklar sind uns die Schildkröten bisher noch nicht begegnet, aber das schürt unseren Ehrgeiz umso mehr - wir geben nicht auf!

Heute Abend wird unser Team um je 3 Studenten pro Camp erweitert.

 

During the last few days we made our camps comfy, went for the daily beacgg patrols and visited our colleagues at the other beach.

Our feet are already marked by the hard work, but last night our efforts have been rewarded. The night before we have alfready seen an unsuccessful shore leaf in Calis but the turtle tried it again and so we could watch a picture-book nesting process!

In Yaniklar we haven't seen a turtle yet, but  we are ambitioned and not going to give up!

Tonight 3 more students per camp will arrive from Vienna.

 

1 Kommentare

Mo

02

Jul

2012

Angekommen! Arrival!

Am Sonntag in der Nacht ist das erste Team aus Wien in Fethiye angekommen. Wie haben's uns in den Camps gemütlich gemacht und konnten es kaum erwarten auf Schildkrötensuche zugehen. In Calis haben wir die erste Caretta caretta gesehen, allerdings konnte sie nicht an Land kommen wegen der Menschen, die sich Nachts am Strand aufhielten. Leider wissen viele Leute gar nicht, dass sie sich an einem Schildkrötenstrand befinden.

Unsere türkischen Kollegen sind schon seit ein paar Wochen hier und haben insgesamt 15 Nester gefunden - 5 in Calis und 10 in Yaniklar.

 

Bilder folgen!

 

The first Team from Vienna arrived on Sunday! We settled in the Campsite and at night we went for our first nightshift. In Calis we were lucky to see a Caretta caretta, but unfortunately she didn't come out of the water due to the people sitting on the beach at night. Most of the tourists don't even know that they are on a turtle nesting-beach.

Our turkish colleagues are already working here since an few weeks and recorded 15 nests: 5 in Calis, 1o in Yaniklar.

 

Photos coming soon!

2 Kommentare

So

24

Jun

2012

In ein paar Tagen geht es los! Only a few days to go!

Die Vorbereitungen laufen auf Hochtouren und wir hoffen auf schildkrötenreiche Saison! Wir halten euch auf dem Laufenden!

We are preparing everything and hope for a turtle-rich season! We'll keep you updated!

Nest mit Halbkreis-Steinmarkierung. The Position of a nest is marked with stones in a semicircle. (Photo made 2010 in Yaniklar)
Nest mit Halbkreis-Steinmarkierung. The Position of a nest is marked with stones in a semicircle. (Photo made 2010 in Yaniklar)
0 Kommentare

Sa

02

Sep

2017

2017 - Going into the final stretch

Our sea turtle course is slowly drawing to a close for 2017. It was an action-filled season (like every year, of course!). To give you a slight idea, this morning’s shift saved many hatchlings from certain death: 30 hatchling were freed from under a stone in one nest, in another, two hatchlings emerged in the morning and remained disoriented on top of the nest, where they would have soon succumbed to the heat: we carried them across a very wide cobble zone and brought them the water’s edge, where they successfully crawled the last few meters into the sea. In our final action, we were able to locate 4 hatchlings that had become completely entrapped in the maze of wooden walkways and sunbeds of a 5-star megahotel complex (built on the beach, of course….). It was all in a day’s work. One part of the team is heading back to Vienna this weekend, and the final group is staying another week, during which many of the remaining nests are expected to hatch and we can update our datasheets with the final excavation data. The work with our Turkish hosts from Pamukkale University has been exemplary the whole season. The hard work day and night makes for tight friendship and trust!  Michael

 

Mi

19

Jul

2017

A turtely worthy adventure!

Humble, kind and ponderous in her movements – like the gentle elderly lady in the neighborhood who waves you good morning – is the marine turtle.
Elusive for many years in the open ocean, she eventually returns to lay her eggs at her natal beach after traveling thousands of miles over more than a dozen years.
With at least mutual fascination for this intriguing being, it was she who brought students of several courses of study together in a project aiming for her well-being and protection. Because we all love our adopted granny.
For many of us Austrian students, seeing these beings may have remained a matter of luck during a holiday trip. Thanks to the work of many engaged people for two decades, however, we were granted the opportunity to gain a glimpse into the real world of active, hands-on and in-the-field management and conservation of an endangered species.
The joint Sea Turtle Project of the University of Vienna and the Turkish Pamukkale University of Denizli brought two groups of Austrian and Turkish students to the small camp behind the promenade of Fethiye’s Çaliş Beach. The small eucalyptus forest there would become our home for the next five weeks and adventure sure to ensue!
Now of course, we were not going to arrive without proper ztaining and instruction, which the seminar in Vienna made sure to deliver with a pinch of excitement!
Back at the seminar, we were a small group of students, slowly befriending the thought of becoming teammates and looking forward to an adventure we approached with excitement as well as respect for the hard work yet to come.
What experiences will we make? Will our humble expectations be met? Will we live up to our own expectations and exceed them as we grow as persons?
On 2 July our time has finally come. With a slight, yet pleasant detour over the Greek island of Kos,
a ride with the ferry to Turkey and four-hour car ride to Fethiye, we finally arrived at our camp to claim our little territories within the forest to erect our tents, span our hammocks and further spend the evening getting to know our Turkish colleagues. A fun bunch who introduced us to the çay way of life!
Our first day would introduce us all to the Çaliş morning shift to get to know the beach and the already laid nests. Thus, it soon became clear to us that the idyllic walk on the beach would be a straining and demanding run against time: the major tourism we had been told about became clear as day during the first evening when the lights of the promenade restaurants and hotels illuminated the nesting beach and the bass of music drowned our words. Just a taste of what may come.
However, with the energy we brought along from home, we were first going to learn of the work we will be doing. Nestled in, there was much to learn and, of course, our first adult turtles to encounter!

Second day around noon, we get a call: a Chelonia mydas was beached at Çaliş and brought to our camp. A large male, unfortunately dead... His carapace was overgrown with algae and his skin covered in barnacles, stiffening his joints. He had not been moving much for a very long period of time. Whether it was due to old age, as his body did not indicate any external wounds, or due to internal issues leading to starvation remains unclear. As he was brought to the The Sea Turtle Rescue Center (DEKAMER) for necropsy, our first rare turtle would be a harsh reminder of the condition of these endangered animals.

Now our real work would begin. Learning to triangulate nests, walking the beaches and getting to know the hotels and nests, becoming familiar with the data sheets and becoming used to walking through the sand, cobble stone beaches in the dark of the night, and train our eyes to distinguish trash and wood from an actual turtle.
Yes, we have more than once stopped in our tracks to observe a car tire in the dark, waiting for it to move. So, for as long as we didn’t see the-real-thing, each well-placed footprint and human buttocks print on the sand became turtle tracks in our eyes. Much to the amusement of our experienced colleagues!

Not much later though, on the more nature-touched beach of Yaniklar, the first team became lucky to encounter their first adult Caretta caretta! Seeing these big creatures make their way on land, so graspable, was a lasting impression. Thrown right into the action, they measured their first turtle and observed her being tagged, while for others, including myself, the waiting game began. Each shift would remain a simple walk with no adult, but tracks to record. Though even with no adult to observe, the tracks ever so often told their own stories. Tracks running into sunbeds and parasols, meandering back and forth between trash and car tracks. Stories of unsuccessful emergences onto the shore due to either unfavorable beach conditions or human interference.

Outside of our shifts we came together to eat breakfast and dinner as a group and the first humbly anticipated meals turned out to be a king’s feast! Each team brought their own cooking skills into the kitchen, serving the group delicious meals! We jokingly decided to open up a restaurant after our five weeks with all the new recipes we picked up. In between the meals, we took our hours of wake time and took the Dolmuş to the city center of Fethiye for the bazar and market.
Bargaining and delicious foods, cay, cheese, olives and lokum! This is what we decided to live off for the next few weeks! Many locals here know resident members of the Sea Turtle Project Team and welcomed us newbies warmly with drinks and sweets!
And speaking of locals, the number of kind people offering us their assistance is astounding. From the kind owners of Keyif Café between the promenade and our camp offering us electricity and internet, to the hotel receptionists printing our data papers on request despite struggling with their own business. We have surely received more invitations to
çay than names we can remember! Even outside of our shifts as we walk the promenade, people greet us and thank us for our effort. Their interest in the number of nests and experiences they share with us feel like gentle encouragement to our work when the stress and lack of sleep gnaw on our nerves.

The time we spend outside of the camp proved to be a welcome distraction from the working-sleeping routine we started to develop. Our nights grew shorter to non-existent when late-night shifts merged with the morning shifts, our words became jumbled and hammocks our best friends during the day. But “fear not!” we were told, soon we would accommodate to the rhythm and schedules and ease into the work flow. Though for right now…that seemed far away.

Lastly, by the end of the week, when the last three of us had begun drawing lucky turtles on our hands, wishing to finally encounter our own first turtle…the time had come. Right before we were to turn the corner into our camp, a dog loudly drew our attention to the beach and there she was!
A large female, slowly digging through the sand.
“Camp, we have a female in front of Keyif Café, wake those who haven’t seen one!” my message rang through the walkie-talkie when I could catch the breath I was holding at the sight of her.
With the project T-shirts hastily thrown over our nightgowns, more of the team rushed to the beach section right in front of our camp so the few last of us could – for the first time – witness a sea turtle lay her eggs and thoroughly cover her little treasure in the sand. Watching this spectacle for the first time is one of those unforgettable moments in life. I’m sure I will remember her tag and nest number for a very long time and I cannot help but smile every time I pass the protective cage we placed over her nest.

 

None of us could grasp what our lives would look like today, one week after our arrival. Though now I can say that as sleep became a scarce requisite, the team spirit grew and welded us closer together.
A boat trip with friends sealed our week with celebration! Diving into the azure blue Mediterranean and dancing on the deck of the boat, indulging in traditional Turkish food. This was a moment to be lived again! Next stop: Hatchling Season and Butterfly Valley! 

Do

25

Aug

2016

Caretta caretta - Camp Update August 2016

Natürlich sind wir 2016 auch auf „unseren“ Stränden in Fethiye, diesmal unter der Führung von der Universität Pamukkale.

Die Voluntärarbeit läuft hervorragend, wechselnde Kochdienste zwischen den Teams sorgen für abwechslungsreiche Kost. Und heuer ein Novum: eine Waschmaschine! Außerdem hat sich eine Katzenmama mit ihrem Baby bei uns eingenistet. Im brennholzbefeuerten Samovar wird 24/7 Chai gekocht – ganz nach dem Motto „Ҫay yoksa hayat da yok“ (Kein Chai, kein Leben)!

Das Leben im Eukalyptuswald ist mit der Meeresbrise gut auszuhalten, aber „Draußen“ herrschen mittags Temperaturen über 40°C! 

Wir sind nun in der Mitte der Saison angelangt und können von zahlreichen Erfolgen berichten. Die Hatchlinge sprudeln nur so aus ihren Nestern (siehe unser neues Video „the fastest hatchling emergence ever“), gerade leeren sich auch die letzten Nester in Ҫalis. Wie in vergangenen Jahren ist der Erfolg der einzelnen Nester sehr unterschiedlich, neben einigen prädierten Nestern (wahrscheinlich Füchse) beobachteten wir heuer aber auch gänzlich geschlüpfte Nester. Allgemein gab es einige Verbesserungen aber auch Rückschläge bezüglich der Nutzung der Strände durch touristische Einrichtungen – ein Kampf gegen Windmühlen…

Auch heuer begrüßen zahlreiche Besucher bei unserem Infostand, wobei die Mehrsprachigkeit des Gesamtteams eine grundlegende Rolle spielt!

 

Mehr als 4000 Kilometer und unzählige Stunden – für unser aller Schildkröten!

 

We are of course once again busy working on „our“ beaches in Fethiye in 2016, this time under the direction of Pamukkale University. The volunteer work is proceeding very nicely and camp life is smooth.

The Austrian and Turkish students alternate in the cooking and kitchen duties, making for a very diverse range of food treats. The wood-fueled samovar is glowing day and night, so there is always enough tea to get us pepped up for a shift or to greet the warriors upon their return from the beach patrols. And this year we experienced a new luxury, namely a washing machine!

We are now in the peak of the season and the hatchlings are emerging from their nests in great numbers (see our new 17-second video “the fastest hatchling emergence ever”). The range of nesting success is wide, from almost entirely predated (foxes) to fully hatched.

Overall, there have been some improvements and some setbacks regarding the use of the beaches by tourism facilities – the usual fight against windmills…

Finally, we are happy to have interacted with numerous visitors at our information booth on the promenade. The language skills of the overall team come in very handy indeed!

 

Thousands of hours and thousands of kilometers on the beach for Turkey’s turtles!

1 Kommentare

Mi

01

Jun

2016

"…you engage in something meaningful"

Interview with Lisa Bauer, marine biologist.

Lisa participated in the sea turtle course in 2008.

What brought your attention to our Sea Turtle Course? Why did you want to participate?

I have always been interested in conservation biology, fieldwork and applied science. Moreover, it was a great chance to work abroad and get to know a different culture. Also volunteering during your studies is a good way to gain professional experience, life experience and…you engage in something meaningful. Very few people only have the chance to witness nesting or hatching sea turtles!

 

What was your most memorable experience in that summer in Turkey?

The most memorable experience was definitely spending time with a nesting Caretta caretta! There was nobody on the beach except my colleague, me and the turtle! Imagine you patrol on an almost pitch-black beach at night and all of a sudden, you see something in front of you, moving: A nesting female! You throw yourself on the ground, rob closer and watch the female digging a hole in the sand, laying eggs and covering the nest thereafter. Spending your night with a nesting female, an almost rare event nowadays, is an experience you will never forget!

The second memorable experience was making Turkish friends and getting to know the culture and different places, apart from the sea turtle camp. Don’t worry, your days will not be filled with work only, you will find plenty of time to enjoy, make new friends and have fun! Butterfly Valley is a place I fell in love with and will never forget.

 

What did you learn from the project?

Scientifically, I learned a lot about sea turtle biology, nest protection and monitoring, tagging, how to identify a net and nest excavation. In my current job, I profit a lot from this knowledge.

On a personal level, I gained valuable life experience. Spending time abroad, in an unfamiliar place with unfamiliar people and in a different culture, helps so put things into perspective. You will learn a lot about yourself and grow as a person.

 

Did it influence your career?

It certainly opened up a new world for me, the field of marine conservation. To protect and study sea turtles during the course was my first experience in the conservation field and I am very happy the course is still held and the project ongoing. In my opinion, only long-term conservational projects have a chance to make a difference.

 

What do you do now? Is your job sea turtle related?

I am one of a few lucky Austrians who work in the Maldives, as the resident marine biologist of the tourist resort Coco Bodu Hithi in North Male atoll. Since the Maldives are located in the tropics, my work involves coral reef ecology and conservation. Around my island and nearby, Hawksbill sea turtles (Eretmochelys imbricata) forage and last year in April we had a Green sea turtle (Chelonia mydas) nesting on the island.

My work focuses mainly on the local sea turtle population and together with any person (guests and colleagues) interested in our project (citizen science), I collect data, using the photo identification method. It is a completely non-invasive method, which benefits from the fact that sea turtles have unique scale patterns on the right and left side of their face. These scale patterns help us identify individuals. There is no need to tag the sea turtle in order to recognize it! You just need a (UW) camera and the willingness to spend a lot of time underwater, which is the dream of almost any marine biologist I know.

The conservation aspect involves creating awareness among guests and my colleagues. Since sea turtles are charismatic animals, everyone wants to see and swim with them. By granting a person this wish, building a connection to these endangered or vulnerable animal species, you can easily create awareness and might even change a person’s attitude. Sustainable tourism is one way to conserve a species and its habitat by protecting what generates revenue. I strongly believe that we reached a level of exploitation and destruction of natural resources, where actively protecting wild animals and their habitats is the only chance for their survival. Reconnecting people back to nature, sparking an interest and love in the natural world and the realization, that this very natural world is necessary for our own survival, are my daily targets.

 

 

If you would like to learn more about Coco Collection environmental initiatives and projects, please visit our blog http://cococares.wordpress.com. To learn more about our partner organisation “The Olive Ridley Project”, visit their website www.oliveridleyproject.org.

0 Kommentare

Do

03

Sep

2015

Yaniklar: hatchling time in September

In Yaniklar we had about 110 nests, of which 40 still remain to hatch. This is a near record over the last 20 years. Does this mean the first hatchlings we helped reach the sea back in the early 1990s are now returning in greater numbers? We like to think so! Every nest is a new and different challenge: yesterday we released 60 hatchlings that were trapped in an air cavity underneath a big stone. The weather in the evenings and mornings is getting noticeably cooler. So how about a project logo sweatshirt for next year to complement our T-shirts?

This is what it looks like when hatchlings emerge in the early morning. Can you count them? We have to, despite only a few hours of sleep since the last night shift.
This is what it looks like when hatchlings emerge in the early morning. Can you count them? We have to, despite only a few hours of sleep since the last night shift.
0 Kommentare

So

23

Aug

2015

News from hatch time at Calis!

We are down to our last dozen nests here in Calis (from an almost record 32!). The last adult turtle emerged on 19 July. Nearly a thousand hatchlings have already reached the sea here. We expect the last nests to hatch by mid-September. We are also still encountering “secret” nests that we first discover when the hatchlings begin to emerge. And, of course, we are battling the usual beach bar and restaurant “expansions” on the beach. Our information booth is open every night and we have met and informed a bunch of interesting (and interested) people.

We earned a big breakfast at our camp after a big night shift and our early morning patrol

0 Kommentare

So

19

Jul

2015

2015 - what happened so far...

We were very busy the last weeks! After building up the camps we started working on the beach and all of us saw some adult turtles laying their eggs on the beach! A few days ago hatching started in Calis and Akgöl and we also had our first excavation of a very successful nest. In our little spare time we went to see Butterfly Valley, went on a boat trip and had some cake at Karola's! The students couldn't be more motivated! This year we are working together with colleagues from Akdeniz Koruma Dernegi.

To be continued...

2 Kommentare

Fr

05

Sep

2014

Fauna

This year we had a littel side-project in our spare time: discovering the fauna of Fethiye! We made a list with over 100 detected and determined species! Fethiye with all its wetlands is a very important bird habitat - we could determine 45 species around the camp. Our special interests were also reptiles, insects and fish. We were lucky to see monk seals, flamingos and green turtles!

Our species list will soon be available for download!

0 Kommentare

Mo

01

Sep

2014

Nesting season winding down

The loggerhead nesting season 2014 is slowly winding down, with a handful of nests remaining in both Calis and Yaniklar. The good news: we broke our 21-year record for nests in Calis, hitting the big Four O (40). Together with Yaniklar (and Akgöl) we have a good 100 nests and even today were surprised to find yet another "secret" nest (revealed by emerging hatchlings). The bad news: we have had quite a number of dead adult turtles being washed ashore (2 in one day last week, for example), meaning that we may be losing the adults faster than we are "producing" them. Also, the condition of the beaches continues its decline, this year marked by further incomprehensible encroachments of restaurants and bars, sand mining, and importantly the construction of a mega-complex at the end of Yaniklar beach (Karatas). We are nonetheless fighting the good fight and getting fantastic feedback at our information booth at the Calis beach promenade.

0 Kommentare

Fr

15

Aug

2014

Hatchlings run to the sea!

Time of the hatchlings! Every night and morning we find tracks of hatchlings try to find their way to the sea. Depending on the beach, some nests are protected by cages, some nests are marked with a semicircle of stones. Why we need cages? in some areas of Fethiye nesting beaches suffers of heavy light pollution and as you may already know: hatchlings of sea turtles can get dis- and misorientated by artificial lights. They follow these lights and die of dehydration.

At Yaniklar beach we almost work without protective cages, but mark nests with semicircles made of stones. On this beach we count tracks of hatchlings in the early morning hours. But sometimes we also find hatchlings stuck inbetween big cobbles - without our help these hatchlings wouldn t survive.

0 Kommentare

Mo

28

Jul

2014

Nest excavation at Yaniklar and Calis Beach!

Hatchling season has already started. It takes 3-6 days (e.g. depending on the grain size of the sand and location of the nest) until all hatchlings emerge and find their way to the . After the last baby turtle has hatched, we wait a couple of days -  then we open the nest to count all the eggs inside. We distinguish empty shells, unfertilized/fertilized eggs, embryonic state of fertilized eggs if possible, alive/dead hatchlings in nest,..... Furthermore we take measurements from the surface of the beach to the top of the eggs, depth of the egg chamber, diameter of the nest... That means you need to dig the nest out just like sea turtles do if you don't want to destroy the egg chamber!

0 Kommentare

Di

22

Jul

2014

Indigo Turtles

As you already know, Hacettepe University invited us to work in Fethiye. This year their sea turtle society (EKAD) has a cooperation with MAVI, a turkish trademark which is famous for jeans and cool shirts. Mavi sponsored EKAD with a special shirt edition called "INDIGO TURTLE". Mavi and Orta Anadolu want to protect sea turtles with this project. Mavi takes the inspiration from the Mediterranean Sea. It is a limited edition! By buying this product you adopt 10 sea turtle hatchlings and you are helping the Mediterranean's oldest inhabitants to survive.

We are very honored and wear them proudly!

0 Kommentare

Mi

16

Jul

2014

Hatchling time at Fethiye nesting area!

We proudly present: at Yaniklar area and Calis area our first nests started to hatch on 15 July. To date we have 69 nests in the overall Fethiye nesting area. At Calis beach we opened our info booth and many people (locals and tourists) are very interested to get information about the loggerhead sea turtles and the threats they face. The morning shifts at our two nestings areas are very different: at Calis beach we put protective cages on the nests and we need to check and remeasure the positions daily. Normally this is not necessary in Yaniklar, where we simply mark each nest with asemi-circle of stones.

 

 

0 Kommentare

Mi

09

Jul

2014

Merhaba from Fethiye nesting site

Now we are 10 days in Fethiye : time to give some informations! After our arrival  at Calis and Yaniklar beach, we were building up our camps, walking on morning and night shifts, painting and fencing new cages and cleaning up the information desk, which will open soon. This year we got invited from Hacettepe University to work with them on this project, which we really appreciate! Our team at Calis Beach had been really lucky, in the first night shift we have seen a loggerhead sea turtle nesting and on the second night shift 4! turtles. Each of them have made a nest. At Yaniklar Beach our team have seen a really huge loggerhead sea turtle with a carapace length of 0.88 m! Working day and night we are a little bit tired, but still full of energy! We also expect in a few days the first hatchlings! By now we have 20 nests at Calis Beach and 33 at Yaniklar Beach, and nesting season is not over yet! In our camp at Calis an "old" friend is living with us: Poyraz, the dog from last year is once again our lovely camp dog!

1 Kommentare

Fr

20

Jun

2014

Pirata del viento supports us!

Kiko with one of the silk printed cloth bag
Kiko with one of the silk printed cloth bag

After we became aware of his work through his beautiful silk printed Fair Trade T-shirts, we asked the artist KiKo aka Pirata del Viento  www.pirata-del-viento.com

whether he would like to support us by printing cloth bags for our information booth in Fethiye - and he simply said yes! Thank you for your support!

 

 

1 Kommentare

Fr

20

Jun

2014

Introducing the people behind our sponsors!

This blog post is dedicated to all our long-term sponsors and the people who make it possible.  We are very grateful and it is time to  introduce:

Dr. Josef Peterleithner, General Manager of TUI Austria, with us in the TUI Austria Headquarter
Dr. Josef Peterleithner, General Manager of TUI Austria, with us in the TUI Austria Headquarter

Dr. Josef Peterleithner, left, General Manager of TUI Austria.

TUI Austria/ GULET Austria has supported our students with stand-by-tickets to Turkey (and back, of course) since the beginning of this project! Thank you!

Dr. Harald Schwammer, Deputy Director of Zoo Vienna with us at Schönbrunn Zoo
Dr. Harald Schwammer, Deputy Director of Zoo Vienna with us at Schönbrunn Zoo

Dr. Harald Schwammer, Deputy Director of  Zoo Vienna, President of the Society of the Friends of Schönbrunn Zoo (second from left).

The Society of Friends of Schönbrunn Zoo has been a major supporter for 15 years! Thank you!

Evelyn Kolar and us in front of the new hammerhead shark tank
Evelyn Kolar and us in front of the new hammerhead shark tank

Mrs. Evelyn Kolar (second from right), Secretary of the "Blauer Kreis",

Austria Zoological Society for Animal and Species Conservation, has supported us for many years -  we are very grateful for this! Furthermore, the society has provided us with beautiful post cards for our information booth in Fethiye!

0 Kommentare

Fr

23

Mai

2014

News from the sea turtle team Vienna

Hello, it's been a while since we have written our last blog entry. But we haven't been lazy: you can find our new report on our homepage and we have started to prepare everything for a new turtle season. Our team of students is fixed, all of them have given a presentation and every Tuesday we give lectures and training to prepare them for the fieldwork and supply them with general information on sea turtles. Our preparations are almost completed and  we are looking forward to a great sea turtle season!

 

0 Kommentare

Mo

02

Sep

2013

Wildlife conservation days at Vienna Zoo

From 28 August until 1 September we had an information desk at Vienna Zoo´s Wildlife Conservation Days.  Four days we gave informations about our project and the threats sea turtles face and for the kids we had a small quiz about sea turtles!

All together it was very successfull for us, for the interested people and of course for all the other different conservation groups and the Vienna Zoo.

Our special thanks goes to Cornelia, Andrea, Sabrina and Tina - who helped us to run this information desk as great as it was!

2 Kommentare

Mi

07

Aug

2013

facing some dangers

There are lots of barriers to overcome for the turtles - starting from the nest, finding their way to the sea as hatchlings and surviving all the dangers in the ocean to come back to the beach where they were born twenty years later.

We made a trip to Dalyan. After we walked along the beautiful beach with more than 400 nests we went to the Rescue Center and saw the tanks with injured turtles. Most of the injuries were caused by fishery-equipment or by ship propellers.

In the nests, parasites can infest the eggs, such as larvae from Diptera or Tenebrionidae. Natural egg or hatchling predators at the beach are ghost crabs, birds, dogs, martens and hedgehogs. We try to do our best to prevent the nests from predation, but sometimes it's too late.

As we don't do nightshifts any more in Yaniklar, we spend our evenings with playing games. In Calis the nightshifts still go on and the number of nests increased up to 33!

0 Kommentare

Di

30

Jul

2013

New nesting record in Calis!

This year we have a very successful nesting season in Calis! By now there are 31 nests on the beach, which is the highest number since 1994!

Five new students arrived in the last two weeks and the group who came first will leave this weekend.

Nearly every student had the chance to see an adult turtle and every morning we take care of the nests and the hatchlings. When the hatching is finished we excavate the nests to check the number of empty shells, fertilized and unfertilized eggs and dead hatchlings.

In Yaniklar we stopped going on night shifts, it's too dark to see the hatchlings there.

We also went on some trips in our spare time, made Marillenknödel for our friends and went to the bazar.

0 Kommentare

Do

18

Jul

2013

Yaniklar, the first two weeks.

After our arrival in Yaniklar we were busy with searching for nests and watching out for turtles. By now we have 49 nests and we were lucky to see four turtles laying eggs. Our first hatchlings emerged from the nests a few days ago. At the morning shifts we have a beautiful view along the nesting site in Akgoel. We feel very comfortable at our camp and enjoy relaxing at the Turkish corner or getting delicious food at Saban's restaurant.

0 Kommentare

Do

18

Jul

2013

the first two weeks in Calis

Our first two weeks were really busy. During daytime we built up the camp and nearly each night we found several nesting turtles. By now we have 26 nests in Calis and the nests that were laid at the end of May started to hatch already.

But still that wasn't enough work for us, so we opened the information desk on the promenade at the beginning of the second week.

In our rare spare time we relax in the hammock and cuddle our new camp dog Poyraz, who looks dangerous but is very cute!!!

Also the whole team was invited at Keyif Cafe to enjoy some of Carola's famous cake.

2 Kommentare

So

30

Jun

2013

ready for take off and getting the season started

ready for take off
ready for take off

Our first team of students arrived savely in Fethiye. Excited and highly motivated we started our first shifts on the beach. In Calis we were lucky to see two turtles laying eggs. There are already 20 nests in Calis and about 30 nests in Yaniklar. Seems to be a good season for the turtles!

 

0 Kommentare

Di

02

Apr

2013

Report 2012 & 20th anniversary of the Sea turtle field course

Der Bericht von 2012 ist endlich online! Schaut rein und blättert in den einzelnen Arbeiten über das jährliche Monitoring und den Bachelor-Arbeiten über Nistverhalten, Orientierung der Schlüpflinge, Nesttemperatur, Lichtverschmutzung, gestrandete Meeresschildkröten und Meso-Müll.

 

Dieses Jahr geht unser Kurs in die 20. Runde! Bereits seit 20 Jahren arbeiten wir nun mit verschiedenen türkischen Universitäten zusammen an Meeresschildkrötenstränden. Unser Langzeitmonitoring liefert somit wertvolle Beiträge zum Schutz der Meeresschildkröten in der Türkei.

Auch für diese Saison haben wir ein enthusiastisches Team von 20 Studenten, die wir in den kommenden Monaten auf die Feldarbeit vorbereiten.

 

Finally the report 2012 is online! Feel free to have a look into last year's work about the monitoring and bachelor thesis' about nesting behaviour, hatchling orientation, nest temperature, light pollution, sea turtle strandings and meso-litter.

 

This year our Sea turtle field course has it's 20th anniversary! Since 20 years we work together with several turkish Universities on Sea turtle beaches. Long term monitoring projects like this provide important informations for Sea turtle conservation.

We already have a full group of enthusiastic students, who we have begun to train for the field work.

 

0 Kommentare

Mi

30

Jan

2013

Neulich bei der Österreich Premiere von "Planet Ocean"!

Am 28. Jänner wurde im Naturhistorischem Museum Wien die Österreich Premiere vom Film "Planet Ocean" gefeiert  -  wir waren dabei!

Dr. Michael Stachowitsch hielt gemeinsam mit Dr. Jörg Ott, Dr. Daniel Abed-Navandi und Dr. Frank Zachos eine kleine Podiumsdiskussion!  Der von Yann Arthus-Bertrand und Michael Pitiot gedrehte und in Partnerschaft mit OMEGA produzierte Film Planet Ocean wurde erstmals auf dem Weltgipfel 2012 in Rio de Janeiro gezeigt. Laut Yann Arthus-Bertrand soll diese Dokumentation nicht moralisieren, sondern Aufmerksamkeit wecken.

Turtle News: Anfang März findet die erste Vorbesprechung für das Meeresschildkrötenprojekt statt - wir sind sehr gespannt auf die neuen Teilnehmer!

 

On 28 january the Austrian premiere of the movie "Planet Ocean" was celebrated in the museum of natural history - we were there!

Dr. Michael Stachowitsch together with Dr. Jörg Ott, Dr. Daniel Abed-Navandi and Dr. Frank Zachos held a small panel discussion. Yann Arthus-Bertrand and Michael Pitiot produced this movie in partnerhip with Omega. World premiere was held at the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development in Rio de Janeiro. The vision of Yann Arthus-Bertrand invites us to preserve the world's oceans and commit ourselves to respecting life and its beauty.

 

Turtle News: at the beginning of march we will have the first turtle meeting - we are looking forward to our new participants!

1 Kommentare

Sa

06

Okt

2012

Eine erfolgreiche Nistsaison, und weiter geht´s mit der Arbeit rund um die Meeresschildkröten! A successful nesting season and continuing work on sea turtles!

Zurück in Wien und weiterhin wird fleissig für das Meeresschildkrötenprojekt gearbeitet! Hier ein kleines Resümee über die Feldarbeit in Fethiye: trotz all den Widrigkeiten war es ein gutes Jahr - natürlich haben wir uns mehr Nester erhofft, aber die Vorhandenen sind von unseren Studenten optimal betreut worden!

 

Dieses Projekt wäre nicht möglich ohne die tolle Unterstützung unsere langjährigen Freunde und Sponsoren: Gulet Touristik und die Freunde des Tiergarten Schönbrunn! Unser Dank gilt auch Yunus und Orhan für ihre großartige Gastfreundschaft in ihren Camps! Vielen Dank sagen wir an Familie Gürtekin, die uns wie auch in den letzten Jahren Strom für den Infostand gegeben haben,  und uns immer geholfen haben, wenn nötig! Außerdem: Danke Karola für deine tollen Torten!

Danke an die Hotels, die uns immer wieder zum Essen eingeladen haben.

Und Danke an das Team der Universität Pamukkale für die gute Zusammenarbeit!

 

Von unserem Camphund in Calis - Lady- mussten uns wir nach 14-jähriger treuer Beschützerin unseres Camps heuer verabschieden. Mit einem für einen Strassenhund unglaublichen Alter von 16 Jahren!!! ist sie im August verstorben! Wir werden dich sehr vermissen!

 

Doch unsere Arbeit für die Schildkröten endete nicht mit dem Ende der Feldarbeit! Nachdem alle wieder in  Wien waren,  haben wir uns zu türkischem Essen getroffen und über die gesammelten Erfahrungen gesprochen. Unsere fleissigen Studenten haben bereits ihre Berichte und Bachelorarbeiten für den Jahresbericht geschrieben und uns abgegeben. Nun wird korrigiert, verbessert und zusammengefügt - schon bald kann man unseren Bericht hier runterladen!

 

Ausserdem halten wir weiterhin Vorträge (z.b. Internationales Symposium für Vivaristik) um auf die  dramatische Situation der Unechten Karettschildkröte aufmerksam zu machen.

 

 

Back in Vienna we are still working like bees for the sea turtles! A small resume about our fieldwork in Fethiye: against all odds it was a quite successful season, although we wished to find more nests! But the existing nests were perfectly monitored by our students!

 

This project would not be possible without the support of our long-term friends and sponsors: Gulet Touristik and Friends of the Vienna Zoo! Thank you,Yunus and Orhan, for your hospitality in your camps! Thanks to Carola (for your delicious cakes! :-) and her whole family for providing us with electricity for our camp and our information booth!

Thanks to all the hotels for inviting us for dinner! And last but not least thanks to the whole team of Pamukkale University for working to together so well!

 

After 16 years we had to say good bye to our beloved camp dog in Calis! Lady was a stray dog but used to live every year in our camp during the whole fieldwork season and protected us against strangers! She passed away this august - We will miss you!

 

Back in Vienna we met to talk about the whole season and all the experiences we have made in Turkey. By now our students wrote their reports and bacchelor thesis, now it is up to us to read and review. As quick as possible you can find the whole annual report  on our homepage!

 

And of course we still give talks (e.g. International Symposium of Vivaristic) about the dramatical situation of the loggerhead sea turtle!

 

1 Kommentare

Mo

03

Sep

2012

Going into the final phase

Unsere Feldarbeit geht in die Endphase. In Calis ist das letzte Nest für diese Saison bereits ausgegraben. Somit wurde auch unser Camp in Calis geräumt - alles wurde gut verstaut für nächstes Jahr.  Nun werden noch gut 24 Nester in Yaniklar von uns betreut. Obwohl es immer wieder Rückschläge gibt (siehe das Foto mit den Traktorspuren über einem Nest), ist jede kleine Meeresschildkröte, die das Meer erreicht, ein Bestätigung für unsere oftmals sehr anstrengende Arbeit. 

 

Our course is in the final phase - the last nest has been excavated in Calis and the camp there has been packed up for the winter. The team is now concentrating on the two dozen nests left in Yaniklar/Akgöl, although that number is dwindling fast. It's been an eventful nesting and hatching season (as usual), and the ultimate reward is to have played a role in helping the hatchlings to surmount the odds (stones, vehicles, beach debris, predators) to reach the sea!

0 Kommentare

So

19

Aug

2012

Calis Beach finale

Die Schlüpfsaison endet bald am Strand von Calis. Aus den zwei letzten Nestern schlüpfen gerade fleissig Jungtiere. Bis jetzt konnten wir über 350 Hatchlinge in Calis sicher ins Meer begleiten. Neben den ganzen Schichten und Informationsabende fuhren wir, die Augusttruppe auch nach Saklikent und gingen mit unserem Tauch-Guru Ibo in Butterfly Valley das Meer erkunden. Doch die Schildkrötensaison ist noch lange nicht zu Ende, das Calis Team zieht nach den letzten 2 Nestern nach Yaniklar in unser anderes Camp. Auf diesem Strand sind noch über 30 Nester, die es zu überwachen gilt!

 

The nesting season in the smaller of our two beaches, Calis, is slowly drawing to a close. Of the 10 nests here, the last two are still hatching and overall 350 hatchlings have reached the sea with our help. We expect to top 400 by the end of the week. Beyond our night and morning shifts, and the info hut work, we have managed day excursions to the gorge in Saklikent and scuba diving and snorkeling at Butterfly Valley and surroundings with our dive guru Ibo. Our team expects to move to the second beach, Yaniklar, this week, where about 30 nests are still waiting to hatch.  

Nest in beach section of Calis with dense sunbed and umbrella rows. We have put several cages around the nest to protect it from the 4 dogs that this restaurant owner keeps on the beach
Nest in beach section of Calis with dense sunbed and umbrella rows. We have put several cages around the nest to protect it from the 4 dogs that this restaurant owner keeps on the beach
Ready for Saklikent!
Ready for Saklikent!
1 Kommentare

Di

14

Aug

2012

Wir klettern und graben! Climbing and digging!

Ein Tagesausflug war angesagt! Ab in die Kühle einer wunderschönen Schlucht nur 1 Autostunde von Fethiye entfernt. In Saklikent mussten wir nicht nur klettern und wandern, sondern auch durch manche Passagen schwimmen - durchs eiskalte Wasser - eine willkommene Abwechslung für uns!

Erfrischt ging es nach Hause, wo wir in Calis am Abend in Hotels nun Vorträge (dreisprachig) halten. In Yaniklar müssen wir jeden Abend auf einen Standabschnitt Graben ausheben, da leider immer wieder Autos auf den Strand fahren und somit Nester und Jungtiere gefährden.

Doch unser Hauptaugenmerk gilt natürlich den Schildkröten - die Jungtiere schlüpfen fleissig aus ihren Nestern!

 

Time for a day trip to the beautiful gorge named Saklikent. Just one hour by a dolmus und we were there - ready to climb and due to heavy rains at springtime also swim through cold water! What a nice change for us!

In the evening we went back - ready and refreshed to give small talks in hotels in Calis and  to dig trenches to hinder vehicles to enter the beach in Yaniklar.

But of course the main focus of our attention is on our sea turtles nests - they are hatching uninterrupted!

1 Kommentare

Mo

06

Aug

2012

Artenschutztage im Zoo Schönbrunn. Conservation-days at Vienna's zoo Schönbrunn.

Von 2. bis 5. August fanden im Zoo Schönbrunn die Artenschutztage statt. Viele Naturschutzprojekte waren vertreten und auch wir waren dabei! Die Besucher waren zahlreich vertreten und sehr interessiert an unserem Projekt. Ein voller Erfolg für den Artenschutz!

Infos über die Artenschutztage gibts auch auf  http://www.zoovienna.at/

 

From 2nd till 5th of August we joined the Conservation-Days at Vienna's zoo Schönbrunn! Many interesting conservation projects were there. Numerous visitors came and were quite interested in our project! A complete success for conservation!

Get more informations about the conservation days at  http://www.zoovienna.at/

 

0 Kommentare

Mo

30

Jul

2012

Die Tücken des Meeres .. und Information ist alles!

Vor ein paar Tagen hat uns die Flut in Calis überrascht und ein paar Nester überspült. Damit die betroffene Eier durch die Nässe und Kühle nicht kaputt werden, wurde der nasse Sand im Nest gegen trockenen Sand ausgetauscht. Die Nester konnten leider nicht verlegt werden, da sie kurz vor dem Schlüpfen waren und aus 2 dieser Nester schlüpfen schon eifrig Jungtiere.

Unser Informationsstand wird jeden Abend von 21 - 24 Uhr betrieben. Viele Touristen sind sehr interessiert, manche kommen sogar öfters um Neuigkeiten zu erfragen.

 

 

A few days ago we were surprised by the flood in Calis and a few Nests were flooded. In order to protect the eggs from the wet and cold, so they will not die, the wet sand was exchanged by dry sand. Unfortunately the nests could not be relocated since they were about to hatch. Two of these nests have started to hatch in the mean time.

Our Informationbooth is open daily from 9 p.m. to 12 a.m. We have many tourist whchi are very interested, some of those return to be up to date.

 

 

1 Kommentare

Mo

23

Jul

2012

Behind the scenes

In den letzten Tagen haben wir in Yaniklar Spuren von Schlüpflingen gesucht,  verfolgt und Hatchlinge ins Meer begleitet. In Calis werden weiterhin Nachtschichten gegangen, da der Strand auch Nachts recht belebt ist. In Yaniklar gehen wir nur mehr Morgenschichten, da die Schlüpflinge in der Nacht sonst übersehen werden - dieser Strandabschnitt ist sehr dunkel und naturnah. Da wir nun mehr Leute sind und uns an die Arbeitszeiten zwischen 10 und 2 Uhr Nachts und ab 6 Uhr morgens gewöhnt haben, sind wir auch Tagsüber aktiver. Heute haben wir das Rescue-Center in Dalyan besucht. Dort werden verletzte Schildkröten versorgt und rehabilitiert. Am Strand von Dalyan gibt es zur Zeit ca 250 Nester!

In the past few days the Yaniklar team has searched, followed and escorted the hatchlings into the sea. Since the beach is quite active, Calis still has to do nightshifts while Yaniklar will only  walk the moringshifts from now on, considering that  the hatchlings might be overlooked on the dark and natural beach. Since we are now more people and we have finally got used to the worktimes between 10 p.m. and 2 a.m. and from 6 in the morning, we have become more active during the day. Today we went to visit the Rescue -Center in Dalyan, where they treat injured seaturtles and rehabilitate them. Their beach has approximately 250 Nests!

0 Kommentare

Mi

18

Jul

2012

Das große Krabbeln! Start of a big journey!

Unser Team ist am Wochenende wieder um 3 Leute gewachsen, einige türkische Kollegen mussten schon abreisen und einige neue sind dazugekommen! Die Zusammenarbeit läuft sehr gut! Sowohl in Calis, als auch in Yaniklar wurden wieder adulte Schildkröten gesichtet und die Anzahl der Nester ist wieder gewachsen. Am Montag haben wir uns alle zusammen auf einen Boat Trip begeben, wir hatten sehr viel Spaß! Und nun die beste Nachricht: die ersten Hatchlinge sind da! In Yaniklar haben wir derzeit viel damit zu tun die Schlüpflinge ins Meer zu begleiten und die Nester  zu schützen.

Our team grew last weekend with 3 additional people from Vienna. Some of the turkish colleagues had to leave but new ones have already arrived. We love working together! In Calis and also in Yaniklar we saw adult turtles and the number of nests are increasing. On Monday we all went on a boat trip together, it was great fun! And now the best news: The first hatchlings emerged from some nests in Yaniklar, so we are quiet busy with escorting the hatchlings to the sea and protecting the nests.

0 Kommentare

Mi

11

Jul

2012

Mehr Leute, mehr Spaß, mehr Schildkröten! More people, more fun, more turtles!

Am Wochenende sind neue Studenten aus Wien gekommen. Nun sind wir 7 Leute in Calis und 6 in Yaniklar. Die Arbeit läuft gut, in Yaniklar wurden in den letzten Tagen gleich mehrere Schildkröten gesichtet und die Anzahl der Nester wächst. In Calis tut sich gerade nicht so viel, aber wir hoffen das Beste! Wir haben nun etwas mehr Freizeit, die wir gleich genutzt haben um am Hafen zu frühstücken und einen Ausflug ins Butterfly Valley zu machen. Außerdem haben wir in Calis den Infostand geputzt und hergerichtet. Nun steht der Öffentlichkeitarbeit nichts mehr im Weg!

New students arrived at the weekend. Now we are 7 people in Calis and 6 in Yaniklar. Work runs well, in Yaniklar we saw several turtles and the number of nests is increasing. In Calis it's not so busy, but we hope the best! Now we have more spare time which we used to have breakfast at the harbour and we also made a trip to Butterfly Valley. Furthermore we prepared the Infodesk in Calis. So we can start to inform the tourists about our conservation work whithin the next days!

4 Kommentare

Sa

07

Jul

2012

Erste Müdigkeitserscheinungen und die Belohnung unserer Bemühungen. First signs of exhaustion and the reward for our hard work.

In den letzten Tagen haben wir das Camp gemütlich gemacht, waren täglich auf der Suche nach Schildkröten und haben unsere Kollegen am anderen Strand besucht.

Unsere Füße sind schon von der harten Arbeit gezeichnet, aber letzte Nacht wurden unsere Bemühungen in Calis belohnt! Nachdem wir schon in der Nacht zuvor einen erfolglosen Landgang beobachtet haben konnten wir in der gestrigen Nacht einen Bilderbuch-Nistvorgang sehen.

In Yaniklar sind uns die Schildkröten bisher noch nicht begegnet, aber das schürt unseren Ehrgeiz umso mehr - wir geben nicht auf!

Heute Abend wird unser Team um je 3 Studenten pro Camp erweitert.

 

During the last few days we made our camps comfy, went for the daily beacgg patrols and visited our colleagues at the other beach.

Our feet are already marked by the hard work, but last night our efforts have been rewarded. The night before we have alfready seen an unsuccessful shore leaf in Calis but the turtle tried it again and so we could watch a picture-book nesting process!

In Yaniklar we haven't seen a turtle yet, but  we are ambitioned and not going to give up!

Tonight 3 more students per camp will arrive from Vienna.

 

1 Kommentare

Mo

02

Jul

2012

Angekommen! Arrival!

Am Sonntag in der Nacht ist das erste Team aus Wien in Fethiye angekommen. Wie haben's uns in den Camps gemütlich gemacht und konnten es kaum erwarten auf Schildkrötensuche zugehen. In Calis haben wir die erste Caretta caretta gesehen, allerdings konnte sie nicht an Land kommen wegen der Menschen, die sich Nachts am Strand aufhielten. Leider wissen viele Leute gar nicht, dass sie sich an einem Schildkrötenstrand befinden.

Unsere türkischen Kollegen sind schon seit ein paar Wochen hier und haben insgesamt 15 Nester gefunden - 5 in Calis und 10 in Yaniklar.

 

Bilder folgen!

 

The first Team from Vienna arrived on Sunday! We settled in the Campsite and at night we went for our first nightshift. In Calis we were lucky to see a Caretta caretta, but unfortunately she didn't come out of the water due to the people sitting on the beach at night. Most of the tourists don't even know that they are on a turtle nesting-beach.

Our turkish colleagues are already working here since an few weeks and recorded 15 nests: 5 in Calis, 1o in Yaniklar.

 

Photos coming soon!

2 Kommentare

So

24

Jun

2012

In ein paar Tagen geht es los! Only a few days to go!

Die Vorbereitungen laufen auf Hochtouren und wir hoffen auf schildkrötenreiche Saison! Wir halten euch auf dem Laufenden!

We are preparing everything and hope for a turtle-rich season! We'll keep you updated!

Nest mit Halbkreis-Steinmarkierung. The Position of a nest is marked with stones in a semicircle. (Photo made 2010 in Yaniklar)
Nest mit Halbkreis-Steinmarkierung. The Position of a nest is marked with stones in a semicircle. (Photo made 2010 in Yaniklar)
0 Kommentare

Sa

02

Sep

2017

2017 - Going into the final stretch

Our sea turtle course is slowly drawing to a close for 2017. It was an action-filled season (like every year, of course!). To give you a slight idea, this morning’s shift saved many hatchlings from certain death: 30 hatchling were freed from under a stone in one nest, in another, two hatchlings emerged in the morning and remained disoriented on top of the nest, where they would have soon succumbed to the heat: we carried them across a very wide cobble zone and brought them the water’s edge, where they successfully crawled the last few meters into the sea. In our final action, we were able to locate 4 hatchlings that had become completely entrapped in the maze of wooden walkways and sunbeds of a 5-star megahotel complex (built on the beach, of course….). It was all in a day’s work. One part of the team is heading back to Vienna this weekend, and the final group is staying another week, during which many of the remaining nests are expected to hatch and we can update our datasheets with the final excavation data. The work with our Turkish hosts from Pamukkale University has been exemplary the whole season. The hard work day and night makes for tight friendship and trust!  Michael

 

Mi

19

Jul

2017

A turtely worthy adventure!

Humble, kind and ponderous in her movements – like the gentle elderly lady in the neighborhood who waves you good morning – is the marine turtle.
Elusive for many years in the open ocean, she eventually returns to lay her eggs at her natal beach after traveling thousands of miles over more than a dozen years.
With at least mutual fascination for this intriguing being, it was she who brought students of several courses of study together in a project aiming for her well-being and protection. Because we all love our adopted granny.
For many of us Austrian students, seeing these beings may have remained a matter of luck during a holiday trip. Thanks to the work of many engaged people for two decades, however, we were granted the opportunity to gain a glimpse into the real world of active, hands-on and in-the-field management and conservation of an endangered species.
The joint Sea Turtle Project of the University of Vienna and the Turkish Pamukkale University of Denizli brought two groups of Austrian and Turkish students to the small camp behind the promenade of Fethiye’s Çaliş Beach. The small eucalyptus forest there would become our home for the next five weeks and adventure sure to ensue!
Now of course, we were not going to arrive without proper ztaining and instruction, which the seminar in Vienna made sure to deliver with a pinch of excitement!
Back at the seminar, we were a small group of students, slowly befriending the thought of becoming teammates and looking forward to an adventure we approached with excitement as well as respect for the hard work yet to come.
What experiences will we make? Will our humble expectations be met? Will we live up to our own expectations and exceed them as we grow as persons?
On 2 July our time has finally come. With a slight, yet pleasant detour over the Greek island of Kos,
a ride with the ferry to Turkey and four-hour car ride to Fethiye, we finally arrived at our camp to claim our little territories within the forest to erect our tents, span our hammocks and further spend the evening getting to know our Turkish colleagues. A fun bunch who introduced us to the çay way of life!
Our first day would introduce us all to the Çaliş morning shift to get to know the beach and the already laid nests. Thus, it soon became clear to us that the idyllic walk on the beach would be a straining and demanding run against time: the major tourism we had been told about became clear as day during the first evening when the lights of the promenade restaurants and hotels illuminated the nesting beach and the bass of music drowned our words. Just a taste of what may come.
However, with the energy we brought along from home, we were first going to learn of the work we will be doing. Nestled in, there was much to learn and, of course, our first adult turtles to encounter!

Second day around noon, we get a call: a Chelonia mydas was beached at Çaliş and brought to our camp. A large male, unfortunately dead... His carapace was overgrown with algae and his skin covered in barnacles, stiffening his joints. He had not been moving much for a very long period of time. Whether it was due to old age, as his body did not indicate any external wounds, or due to internal issues leading to starvation remains unclear. As he was brought to the The Sea Turtle Rescue Center (DEKAMER) for necropsy, our first rare turtle would be a harsh reminder of the condition of these endangered animals.

Now our real work would begin. Learning to triangulate nests, walking the beaches and getting to know the hotels and nests, becoming familiar with the data sheets and becoming used to walking through the sand, cobble stone beaches in the dark of the night, and train our eyes to distinguish trash and wood from an actual turtle.
Yes, we have more than once stopped in our tracks to observe a car tire in the dark, waiting for it to move. So, for as long as we didn’t see the-real-thing, each well-placed footprint and human buttocks print on the sand became turtle tracks in our eyes. Much to the amusement of our experienced colleagues!

Not much later though, on the more nature-touched beach of Yaniklar, the first team became lucky to encounter their first adult Caretta caretta! Seeing these big creatures make their way on land, so graspable, was a lasting impression. Thrown right into the action, they measured their first turtle and observed her being tagged, while for others, including myself, the waiting game began. Each shift would remain a simple walk with no adult, but tracks to record. Though even with no adult to observe, the tracks ever so often told their own stories. Tracks running into sunbeds and parasols, meandering back and forth between trash and car tracks. Stories of unsuccessful emergences onto the shore due to either unfavorable beach conditions or human interference.

Outside of our shifts we came together to eat breakfast and dinner as a group and the first humbly anticipated meals turned out to be a king’s feast! Each team brought their own cooking skills into the kitchen, serving the group delicious meals! We jokingly decided to open up a restaurant after our five weeks with all the new recipes we picked up. In between the meals, we took our hours of wake time and took the Dolmuş to the city center of Fethiye for the bazar and market.
Bargaining and delicious foods, cay, cheese, olives and lokum! This is what we decided to live off for the next few weeks! Many locals here know resident members of the Sea Turtle Project Team and welcomed us newbies warmly with drinks and sweets!
And speaking of locals, the number of kind people offering us their assistance is astounding. From the kind owners of Keyif Café between the promenade and our camp offering us electricity and internet, to the hotel receptionists printing our data papers on request despite struggling with their own business. We have surely received more invitations to
çay than names we can remember! Even outside of our shifts as we walk the promenade, people greet us and thank us for our effort. Their interest in the number of nests and experiences they share with us feel like gentle encouragement to our work when the stress and lack of sleep gnaw on our nerves.

The time we spend outside of the camp proved to be a welcome distraction from the working-sleeping routine we started to develop. Our nights grew shorter to non-existent when late-night shifts merged with the morning shifts, our words became jumbled and hammocks our best friends during the day. But “fear not!” we were told, soon we would accommodate to the rhythm and schedules and ease into the work flow. Though for right now…that seemed far away.

Lastly, by the end of the week, when the last three of us had begun drawing lucky turtles on our hands, wishing to finally encounter our own first turtle…the time had come. Right before we were to turn the corner into our camp, a dog loudly drew our attention to the beach and there she was!
A large female, slowly digging through the sand.
“Camp, we have a female in front of Keyif Café, wake those who haven’t seen one!” my message rang through the walkie-talkie when I could catch the breath I was holding at the sight of her.
With the project T-shirts hastily thrown over our nightgowns, more of the team rushed to the beach section right in front of our camp so the few last of us could – for the first time – witness a sea turtle lay her eggs and thoroughly cover her little treasure in the sand. Watching this spectacle for the first time is one of those unforgettable moments in life. I’m sure I will remember her tag and nest number for a very long time and I cannot help but smile every time I pass the protective cage we placed over her nest.

 

None of us could grasp what our lives would look like today, one week after our arrival. Though now I can say that as sleep became a scarce requisite, the team spirit grew and welded us closer together.
A boat trip with friends sealed our week with celebration! Diving into the azure blue Mediterranean and dancing on the deck of the boat, indulging in traditional Turkish food. This was a moment to be lived again! Next stop: Hatchling Season and Butterfly Valley! 

Do

25

Aug

2016

Caretta caretta - Camp Update August 2016

Natürlich sind wir 2016 auch auf „unseren“ Stränden in Fethiye, diesmal unter der Führung von der Universität Pamukkale.

Die Voluntärarbeit läuft hervorragend, wechselnde Kochdienste zwischen den Teams sorgen für abwechslungsreiche Kost. Und heuer ein Novum: eine Waschmaschine! Außerdem hat sich eine Katzenmama mit ihrem Baby bei uns eingenistet. Im brennholzbefeuerten Samovar wird 24/7 Chai gekocht – ganz nach dem Motto „Ҫay yoksa hayat da yok“ (Kein Chai, kein Leben)!

Das Leben im Eukalyptuswald ist mit der Meeresbrise gut auszuhalten, aber „Draußen“ herrschen mittags Temperaturen über 40°C! 

Wir sind nun in der Mitte der Saison angelangt und können von zahlreichen Erfolgen berichten. Die Hatchlinge sprudeln nur so aus ihren Nestern (siehe unser neues Video „the fastest hatchling emergence ever“), gerade leeren sich auch die letzten Nester in Ҫalis. Wie in vergangenen Jahren ist der Erfolg der einzelnen Nester sehr unterschiedlich, neben einigen prädierten Nestern (wahrscheinlich Füchse) beobachteten wir heuer aber auch gänzlich geschlüpfte Nester. Allgemein gab es einige Verbesserungen aber auch Rückschläge bezüglich der Nutzung der Strände durch touristische Einrichtungen – ein Kampf gegen Windmühlen…

Auch heuer begrüßen zahlreiche Besucher bei unserem Infostand, wobei die Mehrsprachigkeit des Gesamtteams eine grundlegende Rolle spielt!

 

Mehr als 4000 Kilometer und unzählige Stunden – für unser aller Schildkröten!

 

We are of course once again busy working on „our“ beaches in Fethiye in 2016, this time under the direction of Pamukkale University. The volunteer work is proceeding very nicely and camp life is smooth.

The Austrian and Turkish students alternate in the cooking and kitchen duties, making for a very diverse range of food treats. The wood-fueled samovar is glowing day and night, so there is always enough tea to get us pepped up for a shift or to greet the warriors upon their return from the beach patrols. And this year we experienced a new luxury, namely a washing machine!

We are now in the peak of the season and the hatchlings are emerging from their nests in great numbers (see our new 17-second video “the fastest hatchling emergence ever”). The range of nesting success is wide, from almost entirely predated (foxes) to fully hatched.

Overall, there have been some improvements and some setbacks regarding the use of the beaches by tourism facilities – the usual fight against windmills…

Finally, we are happy to have interacted with numerous visitors at our information booth on the promenade. The language skills of the overall team come in very handy indeed!

 

Thousands of hours and thousands of kilometers on the beach for Turkey’s turtles!

1 Kommentare

Mi

01

Jun

2016

"…you engage in something meaningful"

Interview with Lisa Bauer, marine biologist.

Lisa participated in the sea turtle course in 2008.

What brought your attention to our Sea Turtle Course? Why did you want to participate?

I have always been interested in conservation biology, fieldwork and applied science. Moreover, it was a great chance to work abroad and get to know a different culture. Also volunteering during your studies is a good way to gain professional experience, life experience and…you engage in something meaningful. Very few people only have the chance to witness nesting or hatching sea turtles!

 

What was your most memorable experience in that summer in Turkey?

The most memorable experience was definitely spending time with a nesting Caretta caretta! There was nobody on the beach except my colleague, me and the turtle! Imagine you patrol on an almost pitch-black beach at night and all of a sudden, you see something in front of you, moving: A nesting female! You throw yourself on the ground, rob closer and watch the female digging a hole in the sand, laying eggs and covering the nest thereafter. Spending your night with a nesting female, an almost rare event nowadays, is an experience you will never forget!

The second memorable experience was making Turkish friends and getting to know the culture and different places, apart from the sea turtle camp. Don’t worry, your days will not be filled with work only, you will find plenty of time to enjoy, make new friends and have fun! Butterfly Valley is a place I fell in love with and will never forget.

 

What did you learn from the project?

Scientifically, I learned a lot about sea turtle biology, nest protection and monitoring, tagging, how to identify a net and nest excavation. In my current job, I profit a lot from this knowledge.

On a personal level, I gained valuable life experience. Spending time abroad, in an unfamiliar place with unfamiliar people and in a different culture, helps so put things into perspective. You will learn a lot about yourself and grow as a person.

 

Did it influence your career?

It certainly opened up a new world for me, the field of marine conservation. To protect and study sea turtles during the course was my first experience in the conservation field and I am very happy the course is still held and the project ongoing. In my opinion, only long-term conservational projects have a chance to make a difference.

 

What do you do now? Is your job sea turtle related?

I am one of a few lucky Austrians who work in the Maldives, as the resident marine biologist of the tourist resort Coco Bodu Hithi in North Male atoll. Since the Maldives are located in the tropics, my work involves coral reef ecology and conservation. Around my island and nearby, Hawksbill sea turtles (Eretmochelys imbricata) forage and last year in April we had a Green sea turtle (Chelonia mydas) nesting on the island.

My work focuses mainly on the local sea turtle population and together with any person (guests and colleagues) interested in our project (citizen science), I collect data, using the photo identification method. It is a completely non-invasive method, which benefits from the fact that sea turtles have unique scale patterns on the right and left side of their face. These scale patterns help us identify individuals. There is no need to tag the sea turtle in order to recognize it! You just need a (UW) camera and the willingness to spend a lot of time underwater, which is the dream of almost any marine biologist I know.

The conservation aspect involves creating awareness among guests and my colleagues. Since sea turtles are charismatic animals, everyone wants to see and swim with them. By granting a person this wish, building a connection to these endangered or vulnerable animal species, you can easily create awareness and might even change a person’s attitude. Sustainable tourism is one way to conserve a species and its habitat by protecting what generates revenue. I strongly believe that we reached a level of exploitation and destruction of natural resources, where actively protecting wild animals and their habitats is the only chance for their survival. Reconnecting people back to nature, sparking an interest and love in the natural world and the realization, that this very natural world is necessary for our own survival, are my daily targets.

 

 

If you would like to learn more about Coco Collection environmental initiatives and projects, please visit our blog http://cococares.wordpress.com. To learn more about our partner organisation “The Olive Ridley Project”, visit their website www.oliveridleyproject.org.

0 Kommentare

Do

03

Sep

2015

Yaniklar: hatchling time in September

In Yaniklar we had about 110 nests, of which 40 still remain to hatch. This is a near record over the last 20 years. Does this mean the first hatchlings we helped reach the sea back in the early 1990s are now returning in greater numbers? We like to think so! Every nest is a new and different challenge: yesterday we released 60 hatchlings that were trapped in an air cavity underneath a big stone. The weather in the evenings and mornings is getting noticeably cooler. So how about a project logo sweatshirt for next year to complement our T-shirts?

This is what it looks like when hatchlings emerge in the early morning. Can you count them? We have to, despite only a few hours of sleep since the last night shift.
This is what it looks like when hatchlings emerge in the early morning. Can you count them? We have to, despite only a few hours of sleep since the last night shift.
0 Kommentare

So

23

Aug

2015

News from hatch time at Calis!

We are down to our last dozen nests here in Calis (from an almost record 32!). The last adult turtle emerged on 19 July. Nearly a thousand hatchlings have already reached the sea here. We expect the last nests to hatch by mid-September. We are also still encountering “secret” nests that we first discover when the hatchlings begin to emerge. And, of course, we are battling the usual beach bar and restaurant “expansions” on the beach. Our information booth is open every night and we have met and informed a bunch of interesting (and interested) people.

We earned a big breakfast at our camp after a big night shift and our early morning patrol

0 Kommentare

So

19

Jul

2015

2015 - what happened so far...

We were very busy the last weeks! After building up the camps we started working on the beach and all of us saw some adult turtles laying their eggs on the beach! A few days ago hatching started in Calis and Akgöl and we also had our first excavation of a very successful nest. In our little spare time we went to see Butterfly Valley, went on a boat trip and had some cake at Karola's! The students couldn't be more motivated! This year we are working together with colleagues from Akdeniz Koruma Dernegi.

To be continued...

2 Kommentare

Fr

05

Sep

2014

Fauna

This year we had a littel side-project in our spare time: discovering the fauna of Fethiye! We made a list with over 100 detected and determined species! Fethiye with all its wetlands is a very important bird habitat - we could determine 45 species around the camp. Our special interests were also reptiles, insects and fish. We were lucky to see monk seals, flamingos and green turtles!

Our species list will soon be available for download!

0 Kommentare

Mo

01

Sep

2014

Nesting season winding down

The loggerhead nesting season 2014 is slowly winding down, with a handful of nests remaining in both Calis and Yaniklar. The good news: we broke our 21-year record for nests in Calis, hitting the big Four O (40). Together with Yaniklar (and Akgöl) we have a good 100 nests and even today were surprised to find yet another "secret" nest (revealed by emerging hatchlings). The bad news: we have had quite a number of dead adult turtles being washed ashore (2 in one day last week, for example), meaning that we may be losing the adults faster than we are "producing" them. Also, the condition of the beaches continues its decline, this year marked by further incomprehensible encroachments of restaurants and bars, sand mining, and importantly the construction of a mega-complex at the end of Yaniklar beach (Karatas). We are nonetheless fighting the good fight and getting fantastic feedback at our information booth at the Calis beach promenade.

0 Kommentare

Fr

15

Aug

2014

Hatchlings run to the sea!

Time of the hatchlings! Every night and morning we find tracks of hatchlings try to find their way to the sea. Depending on the beach, some nests are protected by cages, some nests are marked with a semicircle of stones. Why we need cages? in some areas of Fethiye nesting beaches suffers of heavy light pollution and as you may already know: hatchlings of sea turtles can get dis- and misorientated by artificial lights. They follow these lights and die of dehydration.

At Yaniklar beach we almost work without protective cages, but mark nests with semicircles made of stones. On this beach we count tracks of hatchlings in the early morning hours. But sometimes we also find hatchlings stuck inbetween big cobbles - without our help these hatchlings wouldn t survive.

0 Kommentare

Mo

28

Jul

2014

Nest excavation at Yaniklar and Calis Beach!

Hatchling season has already started. It takes 3-6 days (e.g. depending on the grain size of the sand and location of the nest) until all hatchlings emerge and find their way to the . After the last baby turtle has hatched, we wait a couple of days -  then we open the nest to count all the eggs inside. We distinguish empty shells, unfertilized/fertilized eggs, embryonic state of fertilized eggs if possible, alive/dead hatchlings in nest,..... Furthermore we take measurements from the surface of the beach to the top of the eggs, depth of the egg chamber, diameter of the nest... That means you need to dig the nest out just like sea turtles do if you don't want to destroy the egg chamber!

0 Kommentare

Di

22

Jul

2014

Indigo Turtles

As you already know, Hacettepe University invited us to work in Fethiye. This year their sea turtle society (EKAD) has a cooperation with MAVI, a turkish trademark which is famous for jeans and cool shirts. Mavi sponsored EKAD with a special shirt edition called "INDIGO TURTLE". Mavi and Orta Anadolu want to protect sea turtles with this project. Mavi takes the inspiration from the Mediterranean Sea. It is a limited edition! By buying this product you adopt 10 sea turtle hatchlings and you are helping the Mediterranean's oldest inhabitants to survive.

We are very honored and wear them proudly!

0 Kommentare

Mi

16

Jul

2014

Hatchling time at Fethiye nesting area!

We proudly present: at Yaniklar area and Calis area our first nests started to hatch on 15 July. To date we have 69 nests in the overall Fethiye nesting area. At Calis beach we opened our info booth and many people (locals and tourists) are very interested to get information about the loggerhead sea turtles and the threats they face. The morning shifts at our two nestings areas are very different: at Calis beach we put protective cages on the nests and we need to check and remeasure the positions daily. Normally this is not necessary in Yaniklar, where we simply mark each nest with asemi-circle of stones.

 

 

0 Kommentare

Mi

09

Jul

2014

Merhaba from Fethiye nesting site

Now we are 10 days in Fethiye : time to give some informations! After our arrival  at Calis and Yaniklar beach, we were building up our camps, walking on morning and night shifts, painting and fencing new cages and cleaning up the information desk, which will open soon. This year we got invited from Hacettepe University to work with them on this project, which we really appreciate! Our team at Calis Beach had been really lucky, in the first night shift we have seen a loggerhead sea turtle nesting and on the second night shift 4! turtles. Each of them have made a nest. At Yaniklar Beach our team have seen a really huge loggerhead sea turtle with a carapace length of 0.88 m! Working day and night we are a little bit tired, but still full of energy! We also expect in a few days the first hatchlings! By now we have 20 nests at Calis Beach and 33 at Yaniklar Beach, and nesting season is not over yet! In our camp at Calis an "old" friend is living with us: Poyraz, the dog from last year is once again our lovely camp dog!

1 Kommentare

Fr

20

Jun

2014

Pirata del viento supports us!

Kiko with one of the silk printed cloth bag
Kiko with one of the silk printed cloth bag

After we became aware of his work through his beautiful silk printed Fair Trade T-shirts, we asked the artist KiKo aka Pirata del Viento  www.pirata-del-viento.com

whether he would like to support us by printing cloth bags for our information booth in Fethiye - and he simply said yes! Thank you for your support!

 

 

1 Kommentare

Fr

20

Jun

2014

Introducing the people behind our sponsors!

This blog post is dedicated to all our long-term sponsors and the people who make it possible.  We are very grateful and it is time to  introduce:

Dr. Josef Peterleithner, General Manager of TUI Austria, with us in the TUI Austria Headquarter
Dr. Josef Peterleithner, General Manager of TUI Austria, with us in the TUI Austria Headquarter

Dr. Josef Peterleithner, left, General Manager of TUI Austria.

TUI Austria/ GULET Austria has supported our students with stand-by-tickets to Turkey (and back, of course) since the beginning of this project! Thank you!

Dr. Harald Schwammer, Deputy Director of Zoo Vienna with us at Schönbrunn Zoo
Dr. Harald Schwammer, Deputy Director of Zoo Vienna with us at Schönbrunn Zoo

Dr. Harald Schwammer, Deputy Director of  Zoo Vienna, President of the Society of the Friends of Schönbrunn Zoo (second from left).

The Society of Friends of Schönbrunn Zoo has been a major supporter for 15 years! Thank you!

Evelyn Kolar and us in front of the new hammerhead shark tank
Evelyn Kolar and us in front of the new hammerhead shark tank

Mrs. Evelyn Kolar (second from right), Secretary of the "Blauer Kreis",

Austria Zoological Society for Animal and Species Conservation, has supported us for many years -  we are very grateful for this! Furthermore, the society has provided us with beautiful post cards for our information booth in Fethiye!

0 Kommentare

Fr

23

Mai

2014

News from the sea turtle team Vienna

Hello, it's been a while since we have written our last blog entry. But we haven't been lazy: you can find our new report on our homepage and we have started to prepare everything for a new turtle season. Our team of students is fixed, all of them have given a presentation and every Tuesday we give lectures and training to prepare them for the fieldwork and supply them with general information on sea turtles. Our preparations are almost completed and  we are looking forward to a great sea turtle season!

 

0 Kommentare

Mo

02

Sep

2013

Wildlife conservation days at Vienna Zoo

From 28 August until 1 September we had an information desk at Vienna Zoo´s Wildlife Conservation Days.  Four days we gave informations about our project and the threats sea turtles face and for the kids we had a small quiz about sea turtles!

All together it was very successfull for us, for the interested people and of course for all the other different conservation groups and the Vienna Zoo.

Our special thanks goes to Cornelia, Andrea, Sabrina and Tina - who helped us to run this information desk as great as it was!

2 Kommentare

Mi

07

Aug

2013

facing some dangers

There are lots of barriers to overcome for the turtles - starting from the nest, finding their way to the sea as hatchlings and surviving all the dangers in the ocean to come back to the beach where they were born twenty years later.

We made a trip to Dalyan. After we walked along the beautiful beach with more than 400 nests we went to the Rescue Center and saw the tanks with injured turtles. Most of the injuries were caused by fishery-equipment or by ship propellers.

In the nests, parasites can infest the eggs, such as larvae from Diptera or Tenebrionidae. Natural egg or hatchling predators at the beach are ghost crabs, birds, dogs, martens and hedgehogs. We try to do our best to prevent the nests from predation, but sometimes it's too late.

As we don't do nightshifts any more in Yaniklar, we spend our evenings with playing games. In Calis the nightshifts still go on and the number of nests increased up to 33!

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Di

30

Jul

2013

New nesting record in Calis!

This year we have a very successful nesting season in Calis! By now there are 31 nests on the beach, which is the highest number since 1994!

Five new students arrived in the last two weeks and the group who came first will leave this weekend.

Nearly every student had the chance to see an adult turtle and every morning we take care of the nests and the hatchlings. When the hatching is finished we excavate the nests to check the number of empty shells, fertilized and unfertilized eggs and dead hatchlings.

In Yaniklar we stopped going on night shifts, it's too dark to see the hatchlings there.

We also went on some trips in our spare time, made Marillenknödel for our friends and went to the bazar.

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Do

18

Jul

2013

Yaniklar, the first two weeks.

After our arrival in Yaniklar we were busy with searching for nests and watching out for turtles. By now we have 49 nests and we were lucky to see four turtles laying eggs. Our first hatchlings emerged from the nests a few days ago. At the morning shifts we have a beautiful view along the nesting site in Akgoel. We feel very comfortable at our camp and enjoy relaxing at the Turkish corner or getting delicious food at Saban's restaurant.

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Do

18

Jul

2013

the first two weeks in Calis

Our first two weeks were really busy. During daytime we built up the camp and nearly each night we found several nesting turtles. By now we have 26 nests in Calis and the nests that were laid at the end of May started to hatch already.

But still that wasn't enough work for us, so we opened the information desk on the promenade at the beginning of the second week.

In our rare spare time we relax in the hammock and cuddle our new camp dog Poyraz, who looks dangerous but is very cute!!!

Also the whole team was invited at Keyif Cafe to enjoy some of Carola's famous cake.

2 Kommentare

So

30

Jun

2013

ready for take off and getting the season started

ready for take off
ready for take off

Our first team of students arrived savely in Fethiye. Excited and highly motivated we started our first shifts on the beach. In Calis we were lucky to see two turtles laying eggs. There are already 20 nests in Calis and about 30 nests in Yaniklar. Seems to be a good season for the turtles!

 

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Di

02

Apr

2013

Report 2012 & 20th anniversary of the Sea turtle field course

Der Bericht von 2012 ist endlich online! Schaut rein und blättert in den einzelnen Arbeiten über das jährliche Monitoring und den Bachelor-Arbeiten über Nistverhalten, Orientierung der Schlüpflinge, Nesttemperatur, Lichtverschmutzung, gestrandete Meeresschildkröten und Meso-Müll.

 

Dieses Jahr geht unser Kurs in die 20. Runde! Bereits seit 20 Jahren arbeiten wir nun mit verschiedenen türkischen Universitäten zusammen an Meeresschildkrötenstränden. Unser Langzeitmonitoring liefert somit wertvolle Beiträge zum Schutz der Meeresschildkröten in der Türkei.

Auch für diese Saison haben wir ein enthusiastisches Team von 20 Studenten, die wir in den kommenden Monaten auf die Feldarbeit vorbereiten.

 

Finally the report 2012 is online! Feel free to have a look into last year's work about the monitoring and bachelor thesis' about nesting behaviour, hatchling orientation, nest temperature, light pollution, sea turtle strandings and meso-litter.

 

This year our Sea turtle field course has it's 20th anniversary! Since 20 years we work together with several turkish Universities on Sea turtle beaches. Long term monitoring projects like this provide important informations for Sea turtle conservation.

We already have a full group of enthusiastic students, who we have begun to train for the field work.

 

0 Kommentare

Mi

30

Jan

2013

Neulich bei der Österreich Premiere von "Planet Ocean"!

Am 28. Jänner wurde im Naturhistorischem Museum Wien die Österreich Premiere vom Film "Planet Ocean" gefeiert  -  wir waren dabei!

Dr. Michael Stachowitsch hielt gemeinsam mit Dr. Jörg Ott, Dr. Daniel Abed-Navandi und Dr. Frank Zachos eine kleine Podiumsdiskussion!  Der von Yann Arthus-Bertrand und Michael Pitiot gedrehte und in Partnerschaft mit OMEGA produzierte Film Planet Ocean wurde erstmals auf dem Weltgipfel 2012 in Rio de Janeiro gezeigt. Laut Yann Arthus-Bertrand soll diese Dokumentation nicht moralisieren, sondern Aufmerksamkeit wecken.

Turtle News: Anfang März findet die erste Vorbesprechung für das Meeresschildkrötenprojekt statt - wir sind sehr gespannt auf die neuen Teilnehmer!

 

On 28 january the Austrian premiere of the movie "Planet Ocean" was celebrated in the museum of natural history - we were there!

Dr. Michael Stachowitsch together with Dr. Jörg Ott, Dr. Daniel Abed-Navandi and Dr. Frank Zachos held a small panel discussion. Yann Arthus-Bertrand and Michael Pitiot produced this movie in partnerhip with Omega. World premiere was held at the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development in Rio de Janeiro. The vision of Yann Arthus-Bertrand invites us to preserve the world's oceans and commit ourselves to respecting life and its beauty.

 

Turtle News: at the beginning of march we will have the first turtle meeting - we are looking forward to our new participants!

1 Kommentare

Sa

06

Okt

2012

Eine erfolgreiche Nistsaison, und weiter geht´s mit der Arbeit rund um die Meeresschildkröten! A successful nesting season and continuing work on sea turtles!

Zurück in Wien und weiterhin wird fleissig für das Meeresschildkrötenprojekt gearbeitet! Hier ein kleines Resümee über die Feldarbeit in Fethiye: trotz all den Widrigkeiten war es ein gutes Jahr - natürlich haben wir uns mehr Nester erhofft, aber die Vorhandenen sind von unseren Studenten optimal betreut worden!

 

Dieses Projekt wäre nicht möglich ohne die tolle Unterstützung unsere langjährigen Freunde und Sponsoren: Gulet Touristik und die Freunde des Tiergarten Schönbrunn! Unser Dank gilt auch Yunus und Orhan für ihre großartige Gastfreundschaft in ihren Camps! Vielen Dank sagen wir an Familie Gürtekin, die uns wie auch in den letzten Jahren Strom für den Infostand gegeben haben,  und uns immer geholfen haben, wenn nötig! Außerdem: Danke Karola für deine tollen Torten!

Danke an die Hotels, die uns immer wieder zum Essen eingeladen haben.

Und Danke an das Team der Universität Pamukkale für die gute Zusammenarbeit!

 

Von unserem Camphund in Calis - Lady- mussten uns wir nach 14-jähriger treuer Beschützerin unseres Camps heuer verabschieden. Mit einem für einen Strassenhund unglaublichen Alter von 16 Jahren!!! ist sie im August verstorben! Wir werden dich sehr vermissen!

 

Doch unsere Arbeit für die Schildkröten endete nicht mit dem Ende der Feldarbeit! Nachdem alle wieder in  Wien waren,  haben wir uns zu türkischem Essen getroffen und über die gesammelten Erfahrungen gesprochen. Unsere fleissigen Studenten haben bereits ihre Berichte und Bachelorarbeiten für den Jahresbericht geschrieben und uns abgegeben. Nun wird korrigiert, verbessert und zusammengefügt - schon bald kann man unseren Bericht hier runterladen!

 

Ausserdem halten wir weiterhin Vorträge (z.b. Internationales Symposium für Vivaristik) um auf die  dramatische Situation der Unechten Karettschildkröte aufmerksam zu machen.

 

 

Back in Vienna we are still working like bees for the sea turtles! A small resume about our fieldwork in Fethiye: against all odds it was a quite successful season, although we wished to find more nests! But the existing nests were perfectly monitored by our students!

 

This project would not be possible without the support of our long-term friends and sponsors: Gulet Touristik and Friends of the Vienna Zoo! Thank you,Yunus and Orhan, for your hospitality in your camps! Thanks to Carola (for your delicious cakes! :-) and her whole family for providing us with electricity for our camp and our information booth!

Thanks to all the hotels for inviting us for dinner! And last but not least thanks to the whole team of Pamukkale University for working to together so well!

 

After 16 years we had to say good bye to our beloved camp dog in Calis! Lady was a stray dog but used to live every year in our camp during the whole fieldwork season and protected us against strangers! She passed away this august - We will miss you!

 

Back in Vienna we met to talk about the whole season and all the experiences we have made in Turkey. By now our students wrote their reports and bacchelor thesis, now it is up to us to read and review. As quick as possible you can find the whole annual report  on our homepage!

 

And of course we still give talks (e.g. International Symposium of Vivaristic) about the dramatical situation of the loggerhead sea turtle!

 

1 Kommentare

Mo

03

Sep

2012

Going into the final phase

Unsere Feldarbeit geht in die Endphase. In Calis ist das letzte Nest für diese Saison bereits ausgegraben. Somit wurde auch unser Camp in Calis geräumt - alles wurde gut verstaut für nächstes Jahr.  Nun werden noch gut 24 Nester in Yaniklar von uns betreut. Obwohl es immer wieder Rückschläge gibt (siehe das Foto mit den Traktorspuren über einem Nest), ist jede kleine Meeresschildkröte, die das Meer erreicht, ein Bestätigung für unsere oftmals sehr anstrengende Arbeit. 

 

Our course is in the final phase - the last nest has been excavated in Calis and the camp there has been packed up for the winter. The team is now concentrating on the two dozen nests left in Yaniklar/Akgöl, although that number is dwindling fast. It's been an eventful nesting and hatching season (as usual), and the ultimate reward is to have played a role in helping the hatchlings to surmount the odds (stones, vehicles, beach debris, predators) to reach the sea!

0 Kommentare

So

19

Aug

2012

Calis Beach finale

Die Schlüpfsaison endet bald am Strand von Calis. Aus den zwei letzten Nestern schlüpfen gerade fleissig Jungtiere. Bis jetzt konnten wir über 350 Hatchlinge in Calis sicher ins Meer begleiten. Neben den ganzen Schichten und Informationsabende fuhren wir, die Augusttruppe auch nach Saklikent und gingen mit unserem Tauch-Guru Ibo in Butterfly Valley das Meer erkunden. Doch die Schildkrötensaison ist noch lange nicht zu Ende, das Calis Team zieht nach den letzten 2 Nestern nach Yaniklar in unser anderes Camp. Auf diesem Strand sind noch über 30 Nester, die es zu überwachen gilt!

 

The nesting season in the smaller of our two beaches, Calis, is slowly drawing to a close. Of the 10 nests here, the last two are still hatching and overall 350 hatchlings have reached the sea with our help. We expect to top 400 by the end of the week. Beyond our night and morning shifts, and the info hut work, we have managed day excursions to the gorge in Saklikent and scuba diving and snorkeling at Butterfly Valley and surroundings with our dive guru Ibo. Our team expects to move to the second beach, Yaniklar, this week, where about 30 nests are still waiting to hatch.  

Nest in beach section of Calis with dense sunbed and umbrella rows. We have put several cages around the nest to protect it from the 4 dogs that this restaurant owner keeps on the beach
Nest in beach section of Calis with dense sunbed and umbrella rows. We have put several cages around the nest to protect it from the 4 dogs that this restaurant owner keeps on the beach
Ready for Saklikent!
Ready for Saklikent!
1 Kommentare

Di

14

Aug

2012

Wir klettern und graben! Climbing and digging!

Ein Tagesausflug war angesagt! Ab in die Kühle einer wunderschönen Schlucht nur 1 Autostunde von Fethiye entfernt. In Saklikent mussten wir nicht nur klettern und wandern, sondern auch durch manche Passagen schwimmen - durchs eiskalte Wasser - eine willkommene Abwechslung für uns!

Erfrischt ging es nach Hause, wo wir in Calis am Abend in Hotels nun Vorträge (dreisprachig) halten. In Yaniklar müssen wir jeden Abend auf einen Standabschnitt Graben ausheben, da leider immer wieder Autos auf den Strand fahren und somit Nester und Jungtiere gefährden.

Doch unser Hauptaugenmerk gilt natürlich den Schildkröten - die Jungtiere schlüpfen fleissig aus ihren Nestern!

 

Time for a day trip to the beautiful gorge named Saklikent. Just one hour by a dolmus und we were there - ready to climb and due to heavy rains at springtime also swim through cold water! What a nice change for us!

In the evening we went back - ready and refreshed to give small talks in hotels in Calis and  to dig trenches to hinder vehicles to enter the beach in Yaniklar.

But of course the main focus of our attention is on our sea turtles nests - they are hatching uninterrupted!

1 Kommentare

Mo

06

Aug

2012

Artenschutztage im Zoo Schönbrunn. Conservation-days at Vienna's zoo Schönbrunn.

Von 2. bis 5. August fanden im Zoo Schönbrunn die Artenschutztage statt. Viele Naturschutzprojekte waren vertreten und auch wir waren dabei! Die Besucher waren zahlreich vertreten und sehr interessiert an unserem Projekt. Ein voller Erfolg für den Artenschutz!

Infos über die Artenschutztage gibts auch auf  http://www.zoovienna.at/

 

From 2nd till 5th of August we joined the Conservation-Days at Vienna's zoo Schönbrunn! Many interesting conservation projects were there. Numerous visitors came and were quite interested in our project! A complete success for conservation!

Get more informations about the conservation days at  http://www.zoovienna.at/

 

0 Kommentare

Mo

30

Jul

2012

Die Tücken des Meeres .. und Information ist alles!

Vor ein paar Tagen hat uns die Flut in Calis überrascht und ein paar Nester überspült. Damit die betroffene Eier durch die Nässe und Kühle nicht kaputt werden, wurde der nasse Sand im Nest gegen trockenen Sand ausgetauscht. Die Nester konnten leider nicht verlegt werden, da sie kurz vor dem Schlüpfen waren und aus 2 dieser Nester schlüpfen schon eifrig Jungtiere.

Unser Informationsstand wird jeden Abend von 21 - 24 Uhr betrieben. Viele Touristen sind sehr interessiert, manche kommen sogar öfters um Neuigkeiten zu erfragen.

 

 

A few days ago we were surprised by the flood in Calis and a few Nests were flooded. In order to protect the eggs from the wet and cold, so they will not die, the wet sand was exchanged by dry sand. Unfortunately the nests could not be relocated since they were about to hatch. Two of these nests have started to hatch in the mean time.

Our Informationbooth is open daily from 9 p.m. to 12 a.m. We have many tourist whchi are very interested, some of those return to be up to date.

 

 

1 Kommentare

Mo

23

Jul

2012

Behind the scenes

In den letzten Tagen haben wir in Yaniklar Spuren von Schlüpflingen gesucht,  verfolgt und Hatchlinge ins Meer begleitet. In Calis werden weiterhin Nachtschichten gegangen, da der Strand auch Nachts recht belebt ist. In Yaniklar gehen wir nur mehr Morgenschichten, da die Schlüpflinge in der Nacht sonst übersehen werden - dieser Strandabschnitt ist sehr dunkel und naturnah. Da wir nun mehr Leute sind und uns an die Arbeitszeiten zwischen 10 und 2 Uhr Nachts und ab 6 Uhr morgens gewöhnt haben, sind wir auch Tagsüber aktiver. Heute haben wir das Rescue-Center in Dalyan besucht. Dort werden verletzte Schildkröten versorgt und rehabilitiert. Am Strand von Dalyan gibt es zur Zeit ca 250 Nester!

In the past few days the Yaniklar team has searched, followed and escorted the hatchlings into the sea. Since the beach is quite active, Calis still has to do nightshifts while Yaniklar will only  walk the moringshifts from now on, considering that  the hatchlings might be overlooked on the dark and natural beach. Since we are now more people and we have finally got used to the worktimes between 10 p.m. and 2 a.m. and from 6 in the morning, we have become more active during the day. Today we went to visit the Rescue -Center in Dalyan, where they treat injured seaturtles and rehabilitate them. Their beach has approximately 250 Nests!

0 Kommentare

Mi

18

Jul

2012

Das große Krabbeln! Start of a big journey!

Unser Team ist am Wochenende wieder um 3 Leute gewachsen, einige türkische Kollegen mussten schon abreisen und einige neue sind dazugekommen! Die Zusammenarbeit läuft sehr gut! Sowohl in Calis, als auch in Yaniklar wurden wieder adulte Schildkröten gesichtet und die Anzahl der Nester ist wieder gewachsen. Am Montag haben wir uns alle zusammen auf einen Boat Trip begeben, wir hatten sehr viel Spaß! Und nun die beste Nachricht: die ersten Hatchlinge sind da! In Yaniklar haben wir derzeit viel damit zu tun die Schlüpflinge ins Meer zu begleiten und die Nester  zu schützen.

Our team grew last weekend with 3 additional people from Vienna. Some of the turkish colleagues had to leave but new ones have already arrived. We love working together! In Calis and also in Yaniklar we saw adult turtles and the number of nests are increasing. On Monday we all went on a boat trip together, it was great fun! And now the best news: The first hatchlings emerged from some nests in Yaniklar, so we are quiet busy with escorting the hatchlings to the sea and protecting the nests.

0 Kommentare

Mi

11

Jul

2012

Mehr Leute, mehr Spaß, mehr Schildkröten! More people, more fun, more turtles!

Am Wochenende sind neue Studenten aus Wien gekommen. Nun sind wir 7 Leute in Calis und 6 in Yaniklar. Die Arbeit läuft gut, in Yaniklar wurden in den letzten Tagen gleich mehrere Schildkröten gesichtet und die Anzahl der Nester wächst. In Calis tut sich gerade nicht so viel, aber wir hoffen das Beste! Wir haben nun etwas mehr Freizeit, die wir gleich genutzt haben um am Hafen zu frühstücken und einen Ausflug ins Butterfly Valley zu machen. Außerdem haben wir in Calis den Infostand geputzt und hergerichtet. Nun steht der Öffentlichkeitarbeit nichts mehr im Weg!

New students arrived at the weekend. Now we are 7 people in Calis and 6 in Yaniklar. Work runs well, in Yaniklar we saw several turtles and the number of nests is increasing. In Calis it's not so busy, but we hope the best! Now we have more spare time which we used to have breakfast at the harbour and we also made a trip to Butterfly Valley. Furthermore we prepared the Infodesk in Calis. So we can start to inform the tourists about our conservation work whithin the next days!

4 Kommentare

Sa

07

Jul

2012

Erste Müdigkeitserscheinungen und die Belohnung unserer Bemühungen. First signs of exhaustion and the reward for our hard work.

In den letzten Tagen haben wir das Camp gemütlich gemacht, waren täglich auf der Suche nach Schildkröten und haben unsere Kollegen am anderen Strand besucht.

Unsere Füße sind schon von der harten Arbeit gezeichnet, aber letzte Nacht wurden unsere Bemühungen in Calis belohnt! Nachdem wir schon in der Nacht zuvor einen erfolglosen Landgang beobachtet haben konnten wir in der gestrigen Nacht einen Bilderbuch-Nistvorgang sehen.

In Yaniklar sind uns die Schildkröten bisher noch nicht begegnet, aber das schürt unseren Ehrgeiz umso mehr - wir geben nicht auf!

Heute Abend wird unser Team um je 3 Studenten pro Camp erweitert.

 

During the last few days we made our camps comfy, went for the daily beacgg patrols and visited our colleagues at the other beach.

Our feet are already marked by the hard work, but last night our efforts have been rewarded. The night before we have alfready seen an unsuccessful shore leaf in Calis but the turtle tried it again and so we could watch a picture-book nesting process!

In Yaniklar we haven't seen a turtle yet, but  we are ambitioned and not going to give up!

Tonight 3 more students per camp will arrive from Vienna.

 

1 Kommentare

Mo

02

Jul

2012

Angekommen! Arrival!

Am Sonntag in der Nacht ist das erste Team aus Wien in Fethiye angekommen. Wie haben's uns in den Camps gemütlich gemacht und konnten es kaum erwarten auf Schildkrötensuche zugehen. In Calis haben wir die erste Caretta caretta gesehen, allerdings konnte sie nicht an Land kommen wegen der Menschen, die sich Nachts am Strand aufhielten. Leider wissen viele Leute gar nicht, dass sie sich an einem Schildkrötenstrand befinden.

Unsere türkischen Kollegen sind schon seit ein paar Wochen hier und haben insgesamt 15 Nester gefunden - 5 in Calis und 10 in Yaniklar.

 

Bilder folgen!

 

The first Team from Vienna arrived on Sunday! We settled in the Campsite and at night we went for our first nightshift. In Calis we were lucky to see a Caretta caretta, but unfortunately she didn't come out of the water due to the people sitting on the beach at night. Most of the tourists don't even know that they are on a turtle nesting-beach.

Our turkish colleagues are already working here since an few weeks and recorded 15 nests: 5 in Calis, 1o in Yaniklar.

 

Photos coming soon!

2 Kommentare

So

24

Jun

2012

In ein paar Tagen geht es los! Only a few days to go!

Die Vorbereitungen laufen auf Hochtouren und wir hoffen auf schildkrötenreiche Saison! Wir halten euch auf dem Laufenden!

We are preparing everything and hope for a turtle-rich season! We'll keep you updated!

Nest mit Halbkreis-Steinmarkierung. The Position of a nest is marked with stones in a semicircle. (Photo made 2010 in Yaniklar)
Nest mit Halbkreis-Steinmarkierung. The Position of a nest is marked with stones in a semicircle. (Photo made 2010 in Yaniklar)
0 Kommentare