THE TIDE TROUBLED TURTLES BUT SURVIVAL BATTLE CONTINUES AT LARA Endangered though the Green Turtle species may be, a project underway at Paphos is helping to prevent its extinction, and is simultaneously attract- ing the attention of conservationists throughout the world. It began two years ago with the minimum of pu- blicity, but has already shown definite signs of com- batting the dangers presented by the ever-increasing fouling of the Mediterranean with human and indus- trial waste. Behind the project is the government's Fisheries Department, headed by Anmlreas Demetropoulas, and if their success rate continues at its present speed, the Green Turtle could, once again, become a common sight off the is: land's shores, The Turtle’s most pop- ular breeding place is Lara Ray, some 20 miles north of Paphos. Each summer the fernmales, weighing: up to 450 pounds, clamber ash- ore during the hot nights and lay as marcy as 150 eggs each. [tis a journey they may repeat three tines within a few months. For Mr, Demetrajan- los and his team, the clifli- culty is ensuring the maximum rumber of opps are hatched and that the tiny turtles taanage to get safely into the sea. Among the dangers are foxes and ghost crabs who sniff out the nests and devour the eggs, phis the hazards of that journey to the sea when birds, as well as the crabs, eal as many as they can catch, the Turtles reach the sea that pollution takes over as the mew “kill- er”. and the experts are un: certain vet just how man survive IS TURNING FOR WARNING “The Green Turtle is an endangered spe- cles, Their numbers have been drastically reduced and, insome cases, fatally ellminat- ed by over-exploitation.” Satice in the world guide of the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources However, ta over- come the dangers on the beach, the Fisheries De- partment has set up a spe cial hatching anit at its offices on Paphos Harbour Using boxes of sand, they incubate the eggs and hatch them artificially. In other cases, they fence off the nesting areas to prevent the foxes and crabs eating the egys Last year, the depart- ment retummed about | 0K) baby Turtles ta the sea, and this year, it is hoped to in- crease the figure to 2,50). Only a few of the babies are kept for research pur- poses and ome of the ques- tions the: experts are trying, to find an answer for is: “How de the mother Tur. thes fine their way back te Lara vear after veur?” Pollution and nieture's predators are not the onby problem which the depart- ment now finds it has te contend with. Lara Bay is hewoming increasingly popular as a tourist spat. Says Mr. Denwetrapou- los: “The area seems certain to he developed, bul we are heaping that the gaver- ment will agree to at least part of it being turned inte a nature reserve, “We don't mind Tracey Graves tars oar ba leok at ble project. provided they are escarted by one of our alli citls, but we have to be careful that the turtles are not driven aneay or all our work will have been was! eal.” Mr. Denetropoules added that yet another problem was lack of man- ev oxpliining that vehicles, cynipmient are a boat were needed. “We have made a good start Chomgh.” he said, “ancl the: pust (we years have re sulted in some excellent ue Te ere 7