Turtles in Cyprus end up in Egypt

Tagged turtles in Cyprus end up in Egypt for the winter. 

Egypt could be an important foraging site for green turtles.
Egypt could be an important foraging site for green turtles.

Researchers have shown that a vast saline lagoon in Egypt is a foraging site for green turtles.

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Lake Bardawil, located between Port Said and the border with Israel, has long been suspected of being an important site outside of the breeding season – now radio-tracking of five female turtles from North Cyprus has confirmed it.

“This gives us hard evidence that at least one population of green turtles is using this area,” said Liza Boura of the conservation group Medasset.

Boura said that Lake Bardawil has both seagrass, which is what adult green turtles feed on, and crustaceans, which are part of the more catholic diet of loggerheads.

Phil Bradshaw of Exeter University, who carried out the tagging study, said it was important to have shown this link between the females that nest in North Cyprus and the lagoon.

“Turtles not only have a high fidelity to nesting sites, but to foraging areas too,” he said

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Read more wildlife news in BBC Wildlife Magazine.