The remarkable comeback of endangered turtles in Cyprus

Efforts to protect endangered turtles in Cyprus have paid dividends - with the numbers of the reptiles tripling in the space of 40 years.

Conservation began in 1978 on a stretch of beach on the Mediterranean, with the loggerhead and green turtle population decimated by hunting.

At that time there were just 300 nests found on the beach - today the number is around 1,100.

The newly hatched turtles are helped out of the sand, and they are protected from predators such as foxes, as well as tourists.

This turtle will return to the same spot in decades' time to lay its own eggs Credit: PA

They make their way into the ocean, where they live their lives, before returning twenty to thirty years later to lay their own eggs.

Public awareness of the plight of the turtles has increased in recent years according to members of the conservation team.

Myroula Hadjichristophorou, a marine biologist and co-head of the program said: "I think the people are very sensitive toward the turtles now.

"Even common people, they find on the beach a baby by accident there or a wounded turtle, they call the fisheries department and they call us and we have the rescue centre in Meneou, and there is a lot of sensitivity now toward the project."