A local group protects loggerhead sea turtle nests in Sitia, southeastern Crete

The local volunteer group in Sitia was very excited to record the first hatching of a sea turtle nest at Karavopetra beach on the 4th of August, 2022. The group has been active in carrying out nest recording and protection for the past 13 years under the supervision of ARCHELON. The hatched nest is one of the loggerhead sporadic nests made in the extensive Greek coastline, which are important for the study of sea turtle populations, specifically in the face of climate change.


As soon as the nest hatched, the group has actively sought cooperation with the local authorities. The Municipality covered public lights on the beach to eliminate photo pollution, there was no access to cars and motorcycles on the beach and beach furniture has been removed every night, making vital space to these ancient marine creatures. Volunteers stayed up until 6am to make sure that hatchlings would safely find the way by themselves to the sea. A few of them got disorientated by the lights, but despite the difficulties, a total of 84 hatchlings made it to the sea.

This particular nest was excavated on the 16th of August in collaboration with Lydia Koutrouditsou, biologist and project manager of ARCHELON for Crete. Excavations are always carried out by experienced people after the hatching has been concluded, according to international protocols. Whenever possible, excavations are organized as public events in order to enhance the environmental awareness of kids and grownups alike, without disturbing the animals.

What did we find out about the excavated nest? “We calculated the hatching success, as the turtle had laid 122 eggs in the nest, of which 104 hatched” said Lydia. “It was the first nest ever to be excavated in Sitia and we were honored to have the Mayor of Sitia amongst the observers. People here have observed several traces of sea turtles on the beaches this summer, so everyone is expecting more nests to be hatching soon” she added.

The conservation volunteer projects of ARCHELON monitor sea turtle reproduction, by surveying a total of 75km of nesting beaches in Greece, every summer. In addition, sporadic nesting is recorded in other beaches of the Greek coastline with the help of citizens who communicate via our website www.archelon.gr.

You can find the Information Stations of ARCHELON on Crete from May to September in Rethymno (near the Light house of the Old harbor), Chania (at the Old harbor), Messara bay (Matala village).

You can visit the Sea Turtle Rescue Centre of ARCHELON which runs all year round at the 3rd marine in Glyfada near Athens with the support of the Municipality of Glyfada.



    Sea turtles in the Greek wetlands of international importance

    World Wetlands Day is celebrated every year on February 2. These vulnerable areas of the planet are a refuge for migratory birds and other wildlife species, including sea turtles. ARCHELON is present in wetlands that play an important role for sea turtles, such as the Amvrakikos Gulf.

    Read more

    Why are ARCHELON’s projects international?

    ARCHELON’s sea turtle conservation projects are organized with the valuable contribution of volunteers who come to Greece every year not just from Europe but from more distant places such as South Korea, Australia, and Colombia. Speaking English while carrying out fieldwork or public awareness activities as well as when interacting with each other in the campsites is essential to the projects.

    Read more

    ARCHELON has been running a special hospital for sea turtles with tanks and impressive old train wagons for 30 years in Glyfada

    Turtles with IV and bandages, rehabilitation and recovery tanks, special environmental enrichment equipment, recovery greenhouses, and… renovated train wagons! The hospital for injured and sick turtles that ARCHELON has set up in the 3rd marina of Glyfada, next to the sea, is certainly something out of the ordinary.

    Read more

    What happened in the world of ARCHELON in 2023?

    A world record for reproductive life for a sea turtle and 40 years of ARCHELON’s actions for protecting sea turtles are some of the moments we celebrated together this year. So, what happened in the world of ARCHELON in 2023? Here are some highlights of the past year.

    Read more

    Assuming responsibility for the environment brings more meaning into our lives

    “ARCHELON is an opportunity, not only for the animals and the ecosystems, but also for us who participate in it and for the society in which we operate”. Thomas Arapis, President and founding member of ARCHELON, talks about the efforts of the organization and about what he aspires for the future.

    Read more

    Forty years later: the world of ARCHELON has expanded

    Thomas Arapis, President and founding member of the Association gives the current coordinates of ARCHELON. "We encounter many turtles in our daily activities, and even more people, many more people actually, who help us. Amongst them are the people who work for us, they stand out for they represent the Association out there, through thick and thin".

    Read more

    19 Environmental NGOs ask the Greek Government not to consent to a change in the wolf protection status in Europe

    Read more

    Messages of love from the world turtle community!

    Celebrating ARCHELON's 40th Anniversary we have received warm messages from the turtle community worldwide

    Read more

    When the past becomes a lighthouse for the future

    Thomas Arapis, the President of ARCHELON and one of its founding members talks about the quality and values, and the people who marked the setting up and subsequent action of ARCHELON. “Dimitris Margaritoulis taught us, not only the methodology for monitoring and protecting them, but also what it means to organize tasks, take responsibility, work as a team, evaluate our course and cooperate with each other”, he says.

    Read more
  10. OUR NEWS

    Notes of a volunteer (Part 2): Ηead trauma happens more often and is more serious than you think

    Jessica Van Damme who volunteered at the ARCHELON Sea Turtle Rescue Centre for 6 weeks in 2023, talks about what she learned while taking care of sea turtles with human caused injuries.

    Read more
  11. OUR NEWS

    Notes of a volunteer (Part 1): Jessica Van Damme was at the Rescue Centre

    “During my 6-week stay, there were more than 30 injured sea turtles being treated at the Rescue Centre. Seven of them were successfully released, but, during the same period there were five new arrivals – all turtles with human-caused injuries. We, humans, are their biggest threat!”, writes Jessica.

    Read more
  12. OUR NEWS

    Summer 2024: Come back to sea turtle conservation as a leader!

    Joining or returning to ARCHELON’s sea turtle projects as a Field Leader will give you the opportunity to lead specific activities as well as train and help others in the projects. These positions provide a higher level of experience in nature conservation/ environment protection, as well as improved communication and leadership skills. Hurry and apply now! Only a limited number of experienced and skilled volunteers are selected to serve as leaders in each project.

    Read more
  13. OUR NEWS

    The establishment of the “Amvrakikos Alliance”

    The Alliance's vision in collaboration with the local community is to highlight the unique ecological value and the natural and cultural heritage of Amvrakikos, for the most effective management, restoration, and protection of its ecosystems and biodiversity.

    Read more
  14. OUR NEWS

    Kids Beach Competition 2023: Turtles made of natural materials that stole our hearts!

    The little friends of ARCHELON who participated in the Kids Beach Competition 2023 formed turtles from pebbles, sand, water, rocks, sticks, leaves and shells, spreading the message of protecting sea turtles on the various beaches of Greece. Angeliki's (7 years old) little turtle on top of the big rock stole 694 hearts and became the winner!

    Read more
  15. OUR NEWS

    The Field Leaders of 2023 and their role

    Matthew from the UK, Noha from France, David from the Netherlands, Aris from Greece started one summer as volunteers knowing little about turtles and their protection. Their experience made them return to the conservation projects as Field Leaders to take on more responsibilities, as trainers and mentors for new volunteers.

    Read more
1 out of 0
Subscribe to our newsletter!
Learn about our latest actions and find out about our programs and how you can help sea turtles!