Dead turtle numbers increase

A total of 25 turtles have been found dead on Algarve beaches since the beginning of August.

The reasons for such a large number of dead turtles remain unexplained and authorities have warned people not to touch or remove the animals if they find them.

The vast majority of cases occurred in the eastern Algarve, at beaches between Vila Real de Santo António and Vilamoura.

The advanced state of decomposition of the animals has hindered any autopsy results, which could have explained the cause of death.

Zoomarine biologist Élio Vicente said: “There is a potential risk that the phenomenon is being caused by bacteria or viruses. People who find dead turtles should report the situation to the authorities immediately.”

Some of the dead animals found showed signs that their death could possibly be related to fishing gear or collisions with vessels.

“The number of dead turtles found this month is well above the usual average,” said Élio Vicente.

If you see a dead turtle or a turtle in need of assistance on a beach in the Algarve, please call the Maritime Police on 289 894 993 or 282 762 826.