Coastline of Dalaman, Turkey
Project Duration and Start
1 Year, 2011
Muğla province is one of the most important tourism destinations in Turkey, attracting nearly 2.5 million tourists per year. Approximately one-third of visitors either stay along the coast of Dalyan or take daily boat trips to visit the beach and scenic attractions of Dalyan. However, the Mediterranean coasts of Turkey are also considered important nesting grounds for both Loggerhead (Caretta caretta) and Green sea turtles (Chelonia mydas), particularly along the Dalylan coastline. The majority of visitors to the region arrive during the summer period, from May till October, which happens to overlap with the nesting season for sea turtles.
The Köyceğiz-Dalyan area was designated as a “Special Environmental Protection Area” in 1988; however there is clear evidence that hotels constructed along the shoreline have negatively impacted sea turtle nesting activity. To support the co-existence of tourism and sea turtles, a concise approach to providing protective measures such as nest monitoring, installing cages to protect nests and distributing information to the hotels and visitors regarding the presence of sea turtles is urgently needed.
Phase one of the Futouris project “Travellers without Boundaries” helped establish the Kaptan June Sea Turtle Conservation Foundation and improved the infrastructure at the sea turtle rescue center in Dalyan. The goal of Phase two of this project is to design a standardized action program that enables local hotels to implement scientifically proven measures designed to provide effective protection of marine turtles in their area of responsibility. The project will be coordinated by Prof. Dr. Yakup Kaska, a turtle specialist from the nearby Pamukkale University along with support from the Kaptan June Sea Turtle Conservation Foundation, the Turkish Ministry of Environment, and the local municipality of Dalyan.
The first components of the project will provide monitoring of the beaches during the 2011 nesting season and development of a professional looking nest protection cage that can be used along the beaches and easily reproduced. Informational signs will also be developed to notify people using the beach that sea turtles may be nesting in the area.
In order to support efforts by volunteers, visitors, and hotel staff to protect nesting sea turtles, a standardized voluntary action program will be developed. The program will include modules that address beach monitoring, nest protection, information and signs, and hotel lighting during the nesting season. This program will be implemented in a pilot phase and will eventually be made available as a transfer model for other beaches that require sea turtle nest protection.
- To raise public awareness and create a sustainable management program for the sea turtle nesting beaches of Dalaman region.
- Create a prototype of a nest protection cage that can be easily reproduced by volunteers and hotels.
- Create and implement a plan that integrates protection of nesting adult sea turtles, the sea turtle nests and the sea turtle hatchlings with activities along the beach and at the hotels. The plan will include methods of beach monitoring, how to use the nest protection cages, and how lighting at the hotels can be regulated so as not to distract adults and hatchlings reaching the ocean.
- Develop and implement a training plan for beach and hotel staff and volunteers.
Project Partner / Coordinator
Project Organizations: The Kaptan June Sea Turtle Conservation Foundation & Pamukkale University Sea Turtle Research and Rescue Center (DEKAMER)
Project Coordinator: Prof. Dr. Yakup Kaska