Convention on the Conservation of European Wildlife and Natural Habitats - Standing Committee

Recommendation No. 54 (1996) on conservation of Caretta caretta at Patara (Turkey) (Adopted by the Standing Committee on 6 December 1996)

The Standing Committee of the Convention on the Conservation of European Wildlife and Natural Habitats, acting under the terms of Article 14 of the Convention;

Having regard to the aims of the Convention to conserve wild flora and fauna and their natural habitats;

Recalling that Article 3 of the Convention provides that each Contracting Party shall take steps to promote national policies for the conservation of the habitats of wild flora, wild fauna and natural habitats, with particular attention to endangered and vulnerable species, especially endemic ones, and endangered habitats;

Recalling that Article 4, paragraph 1, of the Convention provides that each Contracting Party shall take appropriate and necessary legislative and administrative measures to ensure the conservation of the habitats of the wild fauna species, especially those listed in Appendix II to the Convention;

Recalling that Article 6 of the Convention provides that each Contracting Party shall take appropriate and necessary legislative and administrative measures to ensure the special protection of the wild fauna species listed in Appendix II to the Convention, particularly by prohibiting damage to or destruction of breeding sites;

Noting that Caretta caretta is a strictly protected species listed in Appendix II to the Convention;

Drawing attention to Recommendation No 8 (1987) on the protection of marine turtles in Dalyan and other important areas in Turkey, Recommendation No 12 (1988) concerning the protection of important turtle nesting beaches in Turkey, and Recommendation No 24 (1991) on the protection of some beaches in Turkey of particular importance to marine turtles;

Referring to the report by Dr Jean Lescure on the visit to Patara (document T-PVS (96) 65);

Considering the unique ecological heritage value of the Patara beach as the fourth most important Caretta caretta nesting site in Turkey (Baran and Kasparek, 1989);

Bearing in mind that the Patara beach is included in a specially protected area established by joint decision of the Turkish Cabinet of Ministers of 2 March 1990;

Wishing, in this respect, to congratulate the Turkish Government and encourage it to continue its policy for the conservation of specially protected areas;

Having regard to current work on a Development Plan for the specially protected area of Patara;

Recommends that the Turkish Government:

1. ensure that the protection of the Patara archaeological site continues to prevent any human settlement behind the beach;

2. enforce regulations against illegal building;

3. control tourist flow, because too large a volume of tourists will generate numerous disadvantages for the environment in the specially protected area and for marine turtles in particular;

4. organise regular monitoring of marine turtles during the nesting season, as was done in 1996;

5. make the local population and tourists aware of the importance of protecting marine turtles;

6. erect a barrier in front of the car-parks for the middle and north sections of the beach and ban motor traffic from the north section;

7. put an information sign at the end of the hillside track at the edge of the beach and ensure that a fourth way onto the beach is not formed there, drawing attention to the ban on walking in the dunes;

8. continue plantations to stabilise the dunes, particularly the hedges on the top of the first range of dunes at the back of the beach, so as to accentuate the dark side of the horizon from which the marine turtles take their bearings;

9. ensure that no powerful, tall, seaward-facing lights are erected in the village or between it and the beach.



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