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06/21: Release of the first book on sea turtles conservation work in Libya on World Sea Turtle Day


The Libyan Ministry of Environment and UNEP/MAP-SPA/RAC are pleased to publish a new book entitled: Marine Turtle Research and Conservation in Libya: A contribution to safeguarding Mediterranean Biodiversity






The book (available here) highlights the considerable field and laboratory work by the Libyan Sea Turtle Program, founded in 2005, to protect marine turtles from pollution, habitat destruction, illegal egg poaching and meat consumption.

The book issued in English includes introductions from Dr. Ali Alkekli, the National focal Point of the Mediterranean Action Plan, Mr. Elmaki Ayad Elagil, the Director of the Department of Nature Conservation in the Ministry of Environment of Libya and SPA/BD Focal Point, and Mr. Khalil Attia, the Director of SPA/RAC.

The general introduction elaborated by Mrs. Lobna Ben Nakhla and Mr. Atef Ouerghi Programme Officers at SPA/RAC presents the historical development of the Libyan Sea Turtle Program, which is closely linked to the evolution of the regional Action Plan for the conservation of marine turtles in the Mediterranean and the Libyan National Action Plan for Sea Turtles conservation.

The first chapter of the document deals with nesting ecology of sea turtles in Libya, and is based on data collected in beaches monitored annually between May and September from 2005 to 2019, by researchers of the Ministry of Environment and several environmental NGOs.

Chapter 2 discusses the Sex-ratio estimations of loggerhead sea turtle hatchlings in Libyan beaches, and the importance of balancing these ratios as a result of the increase in the proportion of female turtles worldwide due to warming temperature in nesting beaches.

Chapter 3 includes findings of the programme on the identification of migration corridors and marine areas for Loggerhead Turtles nesting in West Sirte, while chapter 4 examines the results of the genetic studies in sea turtle populations in Libya. The last chapter (5) is about awareness activities and communication.

The book concludes with a set of recommendations for the future objectives of the Libyan Sea Turtle Program.

The new book was edited by Dr. Abdulmaula Hamza, former coordinator and co-founder of the Libyan Sea Turtle Program, in collaboration with a group of experts, researchers and university professors from Libya, Tunisia and Italy.

This book has been elaborated within the MAVA funded project “Conservation of marine turtles in the Mediterranean”, which supports the marine turtles work in Libya since 2017 under the coordination of Mr Mokhtar Said, from the Ministry of Environment.