Dump threatens turtle nesting site

Ten environmental organizations on Monday signed a petition for the relocation of an illegal landfill on the island of Zakynthos that poses an imminent threat to a nesting site of the Caretta caretta loggerhead turtle, according to Skai.

The dump on Lagana beach on the Ionian island of Zakynthos has been operating illegally for the past seven years after reaching full capacity, with local authorities failing to provide an alternative site for the disposal of solid waste.

The sandy stretch of Laganas is part of the protected Zakynthos National Marine Park and is a key a nesting ground for the loggerhead sea turtle, which is a threatened species that is endemic in that part of Greece. Zakynthos is estimated to host over 3,000 nests a year. The peak of the nesting season is June and July, with hatchlings beginning to emerge around two months later.

Environmental protection groups say the garbage at the Laganas landfill creates obstacles to nesting and baby turtles while toxins released from dozens of tons of putrefying garbage also pose a direct threat to the species.

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