THIS year, 2022, has seen multiple marine animals stranded on the coasts of Doñana.

The annual Doñana Natural Area Management Report on observations and strandings of marine mammals in Doñana has recorded a total of 24 marine animals stranded along the coasts of the Doñana Natural Area in 2022.

The strandings have included chelonians—loggerhead turtles and leatherback turtles—and cetaceans; marine mammals that include whales, dolphins and porpoises.

Specifically, a total of four cetaceans belonging to 3 different species – bottlenose dolphin, striped dolphin and minke whale were found stranded on Doñana coasts this year.

Additionally, 19 loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta) were also found stranded in this coastal area this year, as well as rare green turtles.

Green turtles are the largest of all the hard-shelled sea turtles and are listed as Endangered (facing a very high risk of extinction in the wild in the near future) by the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources in 1982.

Though green turtles can be found anywhere globally, generally in warm subtropical and tropical ocean waters, sightings in Southern Spain are rare.

In fact, there have only ever been seven recordings of these turtles in Andalucia since records began.

Prior to this year, two other specimens were found stranded in 2003 and 2005. Two were observed in the Atlantic waters of Cadiz in 2002 and 2016; two on the coast of Huelva in 1999 and 2009 and one on the coast of Almeria in 2013.

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