Sitges Town Council has issued a campaign to remind citizens to respect bird nesting areas and the possibility of seeing loggerhead sea turtles laying eggs on the beach.
Regarding bird nesting areas, the council has specifically pointed to Les Botigues beach – which is the furthest beach from Sitges, adjacent to Castelldefels beach, alongside the Port Ginesta. There are closed-off areas on this beach and pathway where birds usually nest, and it is a criminal offence to enter the closed perimeter.
Dogs are also not allowed on the beaches during the bathing season, except on beaches that are specifically intended for dogs.
The council also stress that the protected nesting areas must not be disturbed with noise or light sources, that the beach cannot be accessed with any motorised vehicle, and that rural agents must be notified (by calling 112) if any animal is found injured or dead.
Local councillor for natural areas, Eduard Terrado, said that ‘nesting areas are environments for birds to feel safe’ and adds that ‘not respecting these protected and enclosed spaces can lead to a criminal offence’.
The possible sightings of loggerhead turtles on a beach in Sitges is something else the council has highlighted in its campaign, as it would be the time when the turtle is looking for a place to lay its eggs. If a turtle is seen on a beach, rural agents should also be called immediately (on 112).
Until specialists arrive, the council has insisted that no-one should touch or move a turtle to put it back in the sea – even with the intention of helping it. Once a turtle has laid its eggs, it will return to the sea itself. It is also necessary to establish a perimeter of 5 to 10 metres around the place where the turtle is laying eggs, to avoid human interference.
The council also stress that anyone who observes a turtle laying its eggs should do so in silence, out of the perimeter and out of sight of the animal, as any interference in the process can lead to failure.