The concentrations of Cd, Pb, Fe, Cr, Ni, Se, Sb, As and Cu were investigated in the nesting environment of green turtles in Mediterranean Sea near Kazanlı, Mersin-Turkey. Tissues of plants growing on the beach and the adjacent environment, beach sand, sea ground sediment, sea grass as well as the egg shells from the nests were analyzed and the results showed no significant high levels of heavy metals detected. The higher levels of metals (Cr, Cu, Pb, Cd and As) were found in the samples from ground sea sediments. Ni and Sb were found at higher levels in river waters and Fe was at the highest in field soil. The high levels of Pb, Fe and Cd were also detected in sea grass, and the Cr, Cu and Ni in sea lily when comparison made with other plants. The levels of essential elements such as Fe and Cu were detected as the highest in most of the specimens. The herbivorous green turtles might be affected from the heavy metal concentrations in the future, since they feed on mainly sea grass. The accumulation of heavy metals via rivers into the sea might cause some pollution problems.
Keywords: green turtle - nesting environment - sea lily - sea grass - egg shells - heavy metals - Turkey