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Marineland has established the Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre, which has been open since July 2017. The facility is located in the Espace Mer et Littoral of the city of Antibes Juan-les-Pins, which manages this site belonging to the Conservatoire du Littoral.
There are 3 species of sea turtles along the French Mediterranean coast: the Leatherback turtle (Dermochelys coriacea), the Green turtle (Chelonia mydas) and the Loggerhead turtle (Caretta caretta), which is the most common.
All these species are endangered according to the IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) and protected by international regulations (Washington Convention). Hence, authorisation is required to be able to respond to a turtle in need of help. At the Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre, we have a sea turtle specialist with a green card (accreditation issued by the RTMMF) and a team of veterinarians specialising in marine animals.
The centre is specialised in the reception of sea turtles that have run aground or been found in difficulty on the coasts of the Alpes-Maritimes and the Var. Its activity is supervised by the RTMMF (Réseau des Tortues Marines de Méditerranée Française–French Mediterranean Sea Turtle Network) and meets a real need in the region. Indeed, no other facility dedicated to the care of sea turtles existed in the far south east, the other care centre on the Mediterranean coast being located in the Hérault region.
Turtles can face many dangers. They can be of natural origin, such as hypothermia, infections or predator-related injuries, but many come from human activity, such as collisions with boats, accidental capture in fishing nets, marine pollution, ingestion of plastics, etc.
Photo credit : S. Jamme, Aquanaute
When a turtle is welcomed into the care center, the Marineland veterinary team carries out various examinations according to a precise protocol in order to try to establish a diagnosis. It is only at the end of these various examinations that a possible medical treatment can be administered. Once the animals have been treated, as soon as their condition allows and in agreement with the RTMMF network, they are released back into the sea, beyond the 5 nautical mile limit. You are invited to contact the CRFS if you encounter a turtle in difficulty on 06 16 86 26 86. As the CRFS is not open to the public, we came up with the idea of recreating it within the new educational area at Marineland. This is an area specially designed for schools and is temporarly closed to the public.
You can help protect sea turtles and participate in their conservation. By supporting our projects on the charity search engine, Lilo, you will be making a concrete contribution to the understanding and protection of these exceptional animals. You'll be helping to finance new care equipment and the installation of GPS tags on the turtles that returned to the sea after they've been cared for at the CRFS, in order to study their still unknown migration routes.
What is Lilo? It's a socially responsible internet search engine, on which you can collect a "drop of water" for each search you make (search engine works the same way as Google). You can then donate these points to the project of your choice and Lilo transforms them into euros. The Association's CRFS is one of these projects. By using Lilo, you can now provide financial support to the hospital of marine turtles of the Marineland Association.
Marineland hosted the first practical training for veterinarians and managers of networks and care centers for marine turtles. 40 professionals from the french métropole and overseas were able to refine their intervention techniques. This groundbreaking event was co-organized on November 20th and 21st, 2021, in Antibes by the National Museum of Natural History (MNHN), the mixed service unit PatriNat, and Marineland, in coordination with the Pathology & Care Centers group GTMF-TOT’M. These experts are now prepared to collect data that will help evaluate the health status of marine turtle populations and assess the impact of human activities on these fragile and endangered species.