Loggerhead turtle

The loggerhead turtle lives up to 60 years and are mature at around 15 to 20 years old. The female swims to the sandy beach where she was born to lay between 80 and 120 eggs. The Loggerhead lays 3 to 4 nests per season but only every 3 to 4 years. If the turtle gets disturbed in this moment she will return to the sea. The hatchlings have an incubation time of 55-60 days until they hatch. The sex of the sea turtles is determined by environmental mechanisms. Higher temperature will produce females in the case of the loggerhead turtle the transitional temperature is 29°C, so the temperature of the sand has a effect on the population makeup.  After hatching the little turtles run in the direction of the moons reflection on the sea.  When they are in the water they follow an inborn sense of magnetic direction. Here a new lifetime starts, called the lost years because nobody knows what they do until they reach sexual maturity. Fact is that only 1% of the hatchlings will reach sexual maturity.
 
The lost years

Little known about life of the loggerhead turtle between hatching and returning to lay eggs in the beaches of Greece, Cyprus and Turkey. Recent recoveries in the northern Adriatic of turtles that have been tagged from nesting beaches suggests that this area is important for both adult and juvenile loggerheads. Turtle movements into the Adriatic may be regarded as developmental and feeding migrations. This suggests the existence of a major migratory pathway from Ionian Sea into the Adriatic. Repeated recoveries of some individual turtles within a period of a year indicate that loggerheads reside in the Adriatic for some time, suggesting site fidelity for these marine habitats.

The northern and the central Adriatic, together with the Gulf of Gabes, are the two most extensive shallow (less than 200m deep) regions in the Mediterranean. Such a high number of tag recoveries coinciding with these two regions suggest that the Adriatic Sea and the Gulf of Gabes are important benthic habitats for loggerheads in the Mediterranean.

With more than 60% of the documented nests laid annually in the Mediterranean, the rookeries in Greece account for the largest loggerhead nesting population in the region (Margaritoulis et al., in press). Tags have been recovered in the greatest numbers from two main regions: the Adriatic Sea, and the Gulf of Gabès in Tunisia