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AGGIORNAMENTO SULLA NIDIFICAZIONE DELLA TARTARUGA MARINA CARETTA CARETTA (Reptilia Cheloniidae) IN SICILIA. RIFLESSIONI SUL VALORE DELLA CITIZEN SCIENCE

Salvatore SURDO; Bruno MASSA

Updating of egg-laying of Loggerhead sea Turtle Caretta caretta (Reptilia Chelonidae) in Sicily.

Remarks on the value of the Citizen Science. The aim of this paper is to put together data on the egg-
laying by the Loggerhead sea Turtle Caretta caretta in Sicily, mainly after recordings by amateurs,

tourists and occasional observers. 25 nesting events by this turtle are reported in the main island in
2017 and 2018. Comparing these figures with past records, they appear very high; it may be in part
due to an awareness campaign carried out in the last years to solicit such reports. This suggests that
Sicily may host a much higher nesting population of the Loggerhead sea Turtle than previously
thought. However, the number of nests recorded in the last years is not due to an increase of the

population, but to a higher nighttime beach enjoyment by tourists and local people. Thus, the egg-
CITIZEN SCIENCE laying sites of this turtle are really more vulnerable than previously believed, and the risk value

should be currently raised, even if the population is supposedly increased. Because of the impor-
tance of the turtle conservation as “flag species”, that may yield beneficial results to other marine

species (e.g. sharks, dolphins, etc.), a higher monitoring effort is recommended, especially in cer-
tain coastal lines.

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