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.



    30 Years of Hope: The Sea Turtle Rescue Centre of ARCHELON Celebrates World Sea Turtle Day

    Every year on June 16th, we celebrate World Sea Turtle Day, a day dedicated to raising awareness about these magnificent creatures and the threats they face. This year is particularly important for ARCHELON, as the Sea Turtle Rescue Centre marks 30 years of operation.

    Read more

    Poster contest for children and young adults: Welcome the 2024 turtle hatchlings on the beaches!

    Watercolors, markers, collage, computer, phone? Everything is useful. Use your creativity and imagination to make an A3 or A4 size poster announcing that the 2024 sea turtle eggs are about to hatch.

    Read more

    Amvrakikos Project 2024: Special Call for a Field Leader

    ARCHELON is looking for a highly motivated person to lead its project in Amvrakikos Gulf, one of the few foraging sites for loggerhead turtles in Greece linking several populations nesting across the Mediterranean region.

    Read more

    Τhe nesting of loggerhead sea turtles started earlier this year and the effects of the climate crisis on the oceans are worrying

    For the first time, in the 40 years of ARCHELON records, the first sea turtle nest was found in Laganas Gulf, Zakythos on May 10th. Scientific predictions of the nesting season moving earlier in the spring due to climate change are being confirmed.

    Read more

    Save Turtles, See Greece on a Budget

    Dreaming of pristine Greek beaches and a chance to make a real difference? Here's why June and September are the perfect months to volunteer with sea turtle conservation efforts in Greece!

    Read more

    Sea Turtle Festival for Kids 2024

    Save the date! On Saturday 18 May at 11:00, the ARCHELON Rescue Centre opens its doors to welcome young and old sea turtle friends who want to celebrate, explore, learn, play and travel magically in the Mediterranean Sea. We are waiting for you to strengthen our message for a better and sustainable planet!

    Read more

    A successful year for the International Sea Turtle Symposium

    The International Sea Turtle Symposium concluded triumphantly this March in Pattaya, Thailand, with ARCHELON actively participating.

    Read more

    A Morning Beach Patrol with ARCHELON

    The camera lens of Stefanos and Maria of SteMajourneys caught a rare sight in the early morning: a Loggerhead sea turtle nesting! The volunteers in Chania took action right away to protect the nest.

    Read more

    Protecting sea turtles in Rethymno- Our Ocean, an Ocean of Potential

    The 9th International Conference "Our Ocean", which was held in Athens from April 15 to 17, was successfully completed. ARCHELON had the honor to actively take part in the conference and hosted a side event.

    Read more
  10. OUR NEWS

    Coordination for the protection of sea turtles in Rethymno: Local authorities and tourism businesses join forces

    The meeting, which took place on April 5, 2024, in the building of the Regional Unit of Rethymno, touched upon key issues, such as the observance of conservation measures for the protection of the Loggerhead sea turtle. Given the tourist activity on the nesting beaches, the active participation of the tourism sector in the implementation of the measures is necessary.

    Read more
  11. OUR NEWS

    "Tourists and turtles?" The environmental awareness campaign of ARCHELON spreads to the nesting beaches of the Loggerhead sea turtle

    After the pandemic, ARCHELON - the Sea Turtle Protection Society of Greece - is once again mobilizing on the path to sustainable tourism. The aim of the new campaign is to provide information on the appropriate code of conduct for visitors to all nesting beaches, in cooperation with the tourism sector.

    Read more
  12. OUR NEWS

    LIFE MareNatura - The largest marine biodiversity program in Greece

    Read more
  13. OUR NEWS

    Citizens inform us of sea turtle strandings

    ARCHELON started the effort to record the incidents of dead turtles washing up on the Greek shores in 1992. In recent years there has been an increase in these records which may be due to more of our fellow citizens reporting such incidents. Learn more…

    Read more
  14. OUR NEWS

    Contributing to international developments on sea turtle research and conservation

    In the past, members of ARCHELON were actively involved in the elaboration of the Global Strategy for the Conservation of Marine Turtles, published in 1995, and nowadays three of our collaborators participate in the writing of the revised guidebook “Research and Management Techniques for the Conservation of Sea Turtles”.

    Read more
  15. OUR NEWS

    The Over & Above Awards for 2023

    These are the ARCHELON Over & Above Awards for 2023.

    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!