Zakynthos Caretta-Caretta

The sea turtle Caretta-Caretta from Zakynthos: The island of Zakynthos, and especially the bay of Laganas, is one of the most important shelters for the endangered species of Caretta-caretta in Greece. This unique kind of sea turtle distinguishes for the red-brown shell and the big head and can reach up to 1,25 m in height and 180 kilos in weight. The water pollution, the extensive fishing activity and the over-development of beach resorts have led these turtles to extinct.

The female turtles lay their eggs in particular seashores with dry sand and after 50-75 days of brooding, little turtles come out of their eggs and return to the water. Twenty to thirty years later, these turtles will come back to that same spot where they were born to lay their own eggs.

The National Sea Park of Zakynthos is unique of its kind in the Mediterranean and was founded in 1999 for the protection of the ecosystem and the sea turtle Caretta- caretta. This national park consists of Laganas bay, the beaches where turtles lay their eggs and a stretch of land which connects the lake of Keri and two small islets, Marathonisi and Pelouzo.

About 1,300 nests are created every summer by the sea turtles along 6 beaches on the bay of Laganas. A series of measures have been adopted by the Greek legislation in order to protect the Caretta-Caretta and the National Marine Park of Zakynthos (Zante) is now well established.