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Albania

Albania
©MEDASSET 2019 photo, E. Sacdanaku

Exploration of potential nesting sites and design of conservation measures for sporadic nesting in Albania (MEDASSET)

Each summer sea turtles lay their eggs on sandy beaches in the east and south regions of the Mediterranean basin (mainly Greece, Turkey, Cyprus, etc). In the past years, a small number of sea turtle nests have been reported in Italy, Spain and other locations where nesting does not usually occur. This so-called “sporadic” nesting is of high scientific and conservation interest as it may indicate a possible shift in the nesting range of sea turtles towards the west and northern areas of the Mediterranean. Sea turtles are a highly migratory species and they may be responding to climatic changes by using new habitats to nest, feed and overwinter.

During the first phase of the project, MEDASSET implemented the “Exploration of potential nesting sites and design of conservation measures for sporadic nesting in Albania”. In summer 2018 and 2019, in collaboration with the Regional Agencies for Protected Areas, we studied the entire Albanian coast. We implemented a monitoring programme to explore potential nesting activity along country’s coastline, in order to evaluate the suitability of certain beaches, to assess their potential of being used as nesting sites now and in the future, in case of spatial nesting shifts due to climate change. The research project, the first of its kind in Albania, will help produce important data and will offer useful recommendations on actions and measures to help preserve the country’s beaches for the benefit of both sea turtles and visitors.

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