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THE TURTLE NURSERY

operation "save the turtles"

Cattolica Aquarium is collaborating closely with the Aquarium of Genoa to reinforce its links with the “Anton Dohrn” Zoological Station of Naples. This important joint project has led to the creation of the Turtle Nursery as a place where young sea turtles can be cared for during the most vulnerable phases of their life. The Turtle Nursery is a protected environment that can offer one or more young turtles a period of convalescence before being returned to their natural habitat. The nursery’s guests will be young examples of Caretta caretta, a species with a cosmopolitan distribution that is common on all Mediterranean coasts. Once they have been rescued and treated in Naples, the young turtles will be cared for in Cattolica Aquarium’s new Turtle Nursery, where the aquarium staff will monitor all the variations in weight and size of the various turtles until they can be guaranteed to be in perfect condition for their return to the open sea.

With its experience and skills, Cattolica Aquarium is contributing in the important task of protecting these marine reptiles in which the Naples Zoological Station has already been brilliantly engaged for many years.



The following list describes the turtles cared for and returned to the sea by Cattolica Aquarium’s Turtle Nursery from 2009 to 2012. The names shown are those given by the staff of the Naples Zoological station.

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Current guests at the nursery



Flynn


Age: 2 years



Length on arrival: 19.7 cm



Weight on arrival: 840 gr



Beached: 24 May 2011



Area found: Campania region coast



Conditions: exposure - weakness - low reactivity - serious difficulty in maintaining equilibrium in water



Arrival at nursery: 28 September 2011



Time of stay at nursery: currently at the nursery



Weight after nursery:



Length after nursery:


Returned to sea: to be decided



Place of release:



Bisesto



Age: 2 years



Length on arrival: 25.4 cm



Weight on arrival: 2.22 kg



Beached: 29 February 2012



Area found: Campania region coast



Conditions: hypothermia



Arrival at nursery: 29 September 2012



Time of stay at nursery: currently at the nursery



Weight after nursery



Length after nursery:



Returned to sea: to be decided
Place of release:

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bloody

Age: 2 years



Length on arrival: 26.4 cm



Weight on arrival: 2.47 kg



Beached: May 2011



Area found: Campania region coast



Conditions: exposure - weakness - low reactivity



Arrival at nursery: 28 September 2011



Time of stay at nursery: 12 months



Weight after nursery: 4.80 kg



Length after nursery: 31.8 cm



Returned to sea: 27 September 2012, 12:00 noon



Place of release: Pisciotta Bay, Gabella, near Palinuro

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pelagia

Age: 2 years



Length on arrival: 26.7 cm



Weight on arrival: 2.07 kg



Beached: February 2010



Area found: Campania region coast



Conditions: exposure - weakness - low reactivity - extreme weight loss



Arrival at nursery: 12 September 2010



Time of stay at nursery: 12 months



Weight after nursery: 4.7 kg



Length after nursery: 35 cm



Returned to sea: 23 September 2011, 11:30 am



Place of release: Pisciotta Bay, Gabella, near Palinuro

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aurelia

Age: 2 years



Length on arrival: 25.8 cm



Weight when found: 2.07 kg



Beached: February 2010



Area found: Campania region coast



Conditions: exposure - weakness - low reactivity



Arrival at nursery: 12 September 2010



Time of stay at nursery: 12 months



Weight after nursery: 4.60 kg



Length after nursery: 33 cm



Returned to sea: 23 September 2011, 12:00 noon



Place of release: Pisciotta Bay, Gabella, near Palinuro

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baghera

Age: 2 years


Length on arrival: 25.5 cm



Weight on arrival: 2.07 kg



Beached: 2009



Area found: Puglia



Conditions: dehydrated - risk of exposure



Arrival at nursery: 10 September 2009



Time of stay at nursery: 13 months



Weight after nursery: 5.4 kg



Length after nursery: 34 cm



Returned to sea: returned to Anton Dohrn 11 September 2010



Place of release: Puglia region coast

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ron

Age: 2 years



Length on arrival: 18.8 cm



Weight on arrival: 1.07 kg



Beached: 2009



Area found: Puglia



Conditions: dehydrated - risk of exposure



Arrival at nursery: 10 September 2009



Time of stay at nursery: 13 months



Weight after nursery: 4.85 kg



Length after nursery: 33 cm



Returned to Anton Dohrn: 11 September 2010



Returned to sea: 23 September 2011, 12:00 noon



Place of release: Puglia region coast

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beckett

Age: 3 years


Length on arrival: 30 cm



Weight on arrival: 2.82 kg



Beached: 2008



Area found: Gulf of Naples



Conditions: dehydrated - risk of exposure - malnutrition



Arrival at nursery: April 2009



Time of stay at nursery: 6 months



Weight after nursery: 3.58 kg



Length after nursery: 31.7 cm



Returned to sea: 9 September 2009, 11:00 am



Place of release: Nisida Bay, Porto Paone, near Naples

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gaia

Age: 3 years



Length on arrival: 25 cm



Weight on arrival: 3.36 kg



Beached: 2008



Area found: Gulf of Naples



Conditions: dehydrated - risk of exposure



Arrival at nursery: April 2009



Time of stay at nursery: 6 months



Weight after nursery: 4.20 kg



Length after nursery: 32 cm



Returned to sea: 9 September 2009, 11:00 am



Place of release: Nisida Bay, Porto Paone, near Naples

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the turtle point

The Turtle point is a separate section of the “Anton Dohrn” Zoological Station of Naples, specializing in the care and rehabilitation of marine turtles in distress as a result of human activities or unfavourable environmental conditions.

The facility occupies an area of over 600 square metres, and was opened in 2004 to care for the growing number of animals taken in by the Rescue Centre of the station’s aquarium. The Turtle Point can accommodate up to 40 turtles in rehabilitation tanks supplied with a closed seawater circuit. The facility also has a marine aquarium with Mediterranean flora and fauna, a pool for wetland turtles, a small museum, a display of photographs about the sea, and a laboratory with equipment for analyses and routine treatments.


The marine turtles treated at the aquarium’s Rescue Centre requiring a period of convalescence are transferred to the Turtle Point before being released into freedom. During their stay, the animals are kept under constant observation to ensure that they have recovered their capacity to swim, hold their breath underwater and regulate their buoyancy according to their depth, and at the same time their variations in weight and size are monitored, together with their eating habits and blood analysis values. Many studies focusing on the biology, physiology and ecology of these marine reptiles are also carried out. Of particular interest and importance are the research activities that use new technologies like satellite transmitters and microcomputers to shed new light on aspects of the life of these animals about which little is currently known.

The Turtle Point is also an important centre for scientific communication and the raising of awareness on environmental issues.

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Caretta caretta

Although this is the most common turtle in the Mediterranean Sea, the survival of the species is seriously threatened throughout the entire Mediterranean basin, and by now it is nearing extinction in Italian territorial waters.

To find out more about this species of turtle,
continue on Caretta caretta turtles

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