In the first half of the last century, Loggerhead and Green turtles native to the Mediterranean island of Cyprus were poached to the point of near extinction. Thanks to aggressive conservation efforts, the endangered turtles are making a comeback, according to marine biologists.
Conservation efforts began in the late 1970s when there were only 300 turtle nests on the island's beaches for the tiny turtles to return to. Andreas Demetropoulos, the founder and co-head of a turtle conservation program under the island-nation's Fisheries and Marine Research Department, says the population of nests is around 1,100. The result is “quite spectacular,” he said.
The increase is of major significance for Green turtles as they only lay their eggs in two countries. According to marine biologist Myroula Hadjichristophorou, Cyprus has 200-300 Green turtles who lay eggs while the number for Loggerheads is more than double that. The turtles have their own ingrained "biological GPS" that brings them back to lay their eggs to the same beaches that their ancestors came to thousands of years ago.