ARCHELON’s Monitoring Supervisor talks about his role
Marine biologist Gonçalo J. Lourenço is the monitoring supervisor of ARCHELON’s field projects. Born in Lisbon, he moved to the UK in 2009. He did his Master’s on Marine Environmental Protection and is currently living and working in Wales, UK. He is happy to be a team member of the Zakynthos project for some weeks during the COVID-19 summer. Read his story about sea turtles and his current affiliation with ARCHELON.
The invitation to become ARCHELON’s Monitoring Supervisor came in February 2016 and it is still my current affiliation with the Society. It is a non-pay position, which I hold wholeheartedly because I am a member of the ARCHELON family. I work with people I appreciate, contributing to the efforts of hundreds of volunteers who collect data every year on the beaches, aiming to protect our common environment.
As part of my new role I spent the whole 2016 nesting season in the summer projects. Keeping my base on Zakynthos, I visited and spent extensive periods of time in all core nesting projects of ARCHELON in Greece, which was a fascinating experience. Lakonikos Bay, Kyparissia Bay and Koroni in the Peloponnese are really unique places, and the projects there face different challenges. Of course, I got to know the nesting beaches/ sectors on Crete as well. My visits to Rethymno, Chania and Messara are always very constructive.
A big part of my role since 2016 is to train Monitoring Field Leaders for their tasks both on the beach and at the office. There are usually 13 Field Leaders across the nesting beach projects of ARCHELON throughout Greece that submit their databases every 2 weeks. My job is to perform quality checks to ensure the protocols are being administered correctly. I, then, provide the teams with feedback on their submission and give further training, where needed. Final quality checks are performed to the databases at the end of the season and possible errors are discussed and if needed corrected. Until these quality checks are satisfactory, reproduction data will remain “provisional”.
Last Sunday, alongside their daily tasks, Gonçalo and Nikoletta Sidiropoulou, the Zakynthos Project Officer of ARCHELON, also a marine biologist, found the time to review with the rest of the team a comprehensive induction on recording all types of sea turtle tracks. “It is always useful to check and update our training material. We are sure ARCHELON will keep welcoming new people in the projects in the years to come” said Gonçalo. “People should join ARCHELON’s projects as long as we keep COVID-19 out ” added Nikoletta smilingly.
Important decisions on COVID-19 precautions in ARCHELON’s projects - July 2020
SEA TURTLE RESCUE CENTER “rescued” during the pandemic by Nele Joachim, a volunteer from the European Solidarity Corps
- OUR NEWS27/09/2023
World Tourism Day 2023: Are there sea turtle-friendly hotels in north Crete?
But why is tourism important to sea turtles?
- OUR NEWS15/09/2023
Lilo, the tiny green turtle, made it back to the sea!
In November 2021 a small green turtle arrived at the ARCHELON Rescue Centre with a very serious head injury. After almost two years of intensive care, one Wednesday in September 2023 he was finally discharged and returned to the sea!
- OUR NEWS17/08/2023
World record of 37 years of reproductive life for a loggerhead sea turtle in Zakynthos, Greece – increased number of nests this summer, says ARCHELON
ARCHELON – the Sea Turtle Protection Society of Greece announces an important outcome of the systematic work of this year's sea turtle nest monitoring team in Zakynthos. Based on their long-term observations, ARCHELON managed to certify a new World Record of reproductive activity for loggerhead turtles.
- OUR NEWS07/08/2023
ATTENTION! Sea turtles are not pets: Do not touch them or feed them!
The Municipality of Eastern Mani and the Port Authorities requested the assistance of ARCHELON to inform beach users in the area of Limeni, near Mani, where 35 new incidents of sea turtle attacks on sea bathers have been recorded during this summer season. These are added to the already long list of 200 such records of previous years found in the nearby Health Center in Areopolis.
- OUR NEWS01/08/2023
Interview with a volunteer: Lea Heinen, Rescue Centre
Interview with a volunteer: Lea Heinen, Rescue Centre Lea shares her experience volunteering at the ARCHELON Sea Turtle Rescue Centre: “I think when a turtle starts to eat after a month of trying, when you can see the improvement or healing of a turtle's injury and when a turtle is released back into the sea, into its natural habitat, into its home - then you know that you are indeed saving turtles”.
- OUR NEWS21/07/2023
Kids Beach Competition 2023: Make your own little sea turtle with natural materials and send us a photo!
Help us spread the message about the protection of sea turtles by making your own baby turtles with natural materials you will find on the beach. Sand, stones, pebbles, shells, seaweed, sticks and whatever else you have available, can be transformed with a little imagination! Take a photo of your work and send it to the ARCHELON Beach Competition.
- OUR NEWS18/07/2023
Paving the way for next steps in conservation of marine turtles in the Mediterranean region
Last week the partner organizations of the project “Conservation of Marine Turtles in the Mediterranean Region” met for the 9th Steering Committee Meeting. The meeting was organized by SPA/RAC in the area of Kyparissia Bay, Greece on the 4th and 5th of July, 2023 in collaboration with ARCHELON.
- OUR NEWS04/07/2023
An offer to EXPERIENCED volunteers: You can now join the beach projects for 2-3 weeks!
The time is just right to join the projects again, even if you have only 2 or 3 weeks of available time. This offer is valid for August, September, October 2023. Apply through our new website and find out more about the dates and places you can join. More…
- OUR NEWS22/06/2023
The nesting season has begun! Learn what you can do if you find sea turtle tracks or nests on the beach
The nesting season for the loggerhead sea turtles has begun. The nests that are made in the areas monitored by ARCHELON and other collaborating groups are already being recorded. However, if you find tracks or nests on other beaches, you can also participate in the effort to record and protect these sporadic nests. Find out why it's important…
- OUR NEWS16/06/2023
A breath away from registering a new world record on the years of known active reproduction of a loggerhead sea turtle is ARCHELON, the Sea Turtle Protection Society of Greece
This is the year when ARCHELON, a nonprofit environmental NGO, is celebrating 40 years of continuous and targeted action to save sea turtles in Greece and the Mediterranean. At the same time, the project teams of ARCHELON are ready to register the longest period of active reproduction known for the Loggerhead sea turtle (Caretta caretta), in case it happens this year!
- OUR NEWS15/06/2023
A Saturday unlike any other - Turtle Festival 2023
ARCHELON invites kids and adults to celebrate the environment and the sea in an exciting way at the "Sea Turtle Festival" on Saturday, May 27 at the Sea Turtle Rescue Centre in the 3rd Marina of Glyfada.
- OUR NEWS07/06/2023
Announcement for all past volunteers of ARCHELON: Shall we meet this September?
Highlight: Hi everyone! This year marks 40 years of ARCHELON’s action for protecting sea turtles in Greece. During these four decades, thousands of volunteers from many countries joined our sea turtle projects and the Rescue Centre to help save the turtles. Let’s meet again this coming September and celebrate the animals we saved during all these years.
- OUR NEWS07/04/2023
Waiting list for schools that want to visit the ARCHELON Rescue Centre
Thousands of Greek students visit the Centre and get informed about the value of protecting the environment through contact with a particularly beloved animal, the sea turtle. "All the available visiting hours until the end of the 2022-2023 school year have been booked, but there is a waiting list that is activated in case of cancellations", says Anna Kontoleon, ARCHELON’s Education Officer. More hours for online tours may be added in May if volunteers become available.
- OUR NEWS28/03/2023
People are supporting wildlife conservation
The donations and "adoptions" made at the Rescue Centre in Glyfada, Attica and at ARCHELON’s field projects in Zakynthos, the Peloponnese and Crete in 2022, reached the amount of €350,000. We did a lot last year thanks to all these people, who also made it possible for us to continue this year.
- OUR NEWS24/03/2023
We learned with deep sadness the passing away of Gail Schofield, a pronounced sea turtle researcher and former ARCHELON volunteer. Read more…