10/06/2009

Caretta-caretta nesting season started in Rethymno (Crete)!

Itʼs well known that Crete hosts three very significant caretta nesting beaches in Rethymno, Chania and Messaraʼs Bay. Although these areas are critical for the Mediterranean sea and a major part of them has been included in the NATURA European network of protected areas as should, they still remain with no legal protection status facing a number of threatening to their future issues.

Creteʼs caretta nesting beaches have been downgraded enough because of the uncontrolled tourist development during the 80s and 90s. The sand dunes face destruction as they are at a large scale being rapidly eroded, and finally the beach is almost disappearing.

The large number of beach umbrellas and reclining chairs that are left on the beach at night impede the slow travel of the female turtles as they make their way up to the dune line to nest. The bright artificial lights are fatal for hatchlings as they become confused and disoriented.

At the same time, a greater threat comes from the sea, since each year many sea turtles are reported dead or injured, mainly due to inadvertent capture in fishing lines and nets.

After all, it is not that strange the number of nests in Rethymno and Chania is declining, stressing the imperative need to take all appropriate measures for their protection immediately.

The importance of the turtles laying beaches in Crete has been established beyond any doubt. ARCHELON has been working systematically in Rethymno since 1989 collecting nesting data, protecting the nests threatened and informing the public.

The field work is conducted with the permission of the competent Ministry of Agriculture and the support of the local authorities and municipalities, by trained volunteers who come particularly for this purpose from around the globe.

ARCHELON jointly with the Municipality of Arkadi reconstructed the old school building in Pagkalohori and turned it to a Nature Information Centre, hosting appropriate environmental learning programs for schools and organized groups.

Please note the sea turtles reproducing in Rethymno, Chania and in the Bay of Messara each form a particular and independent population not related to the ones of Zakynthos and Kyparissia. We were able to document this thanks to our long term tagging program.

Remarkably, marine turtles from each region, even if they make long journeys for feeding reasons up to the North Adriatic Sea and Tunisia, the adult females return back to their own hatch site to lay their own clutches of eggs.

It is important to address the threats to sea turtles and the natural habitats upon which they depend. ARCHELON has been doing exactly that for more than 25 years now. With your help we can do more.

Your support will help us ensure sea turtles are swimming free in the sea for future generations!

RECENT NEWS

  1. OUR NEWS
    15/09/2023

    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!

    Read more
  2. OUR NEWS
    17/08/2023

    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.

    Read more
  3. OUR NEWS
    07/08/2023

    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.

    Read more
  4. OUR NEWS
    01/08/2023

    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”.

    Read more
  5. OUR NEWS
    21/07/2023

    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.

    Read more
  6. OUR NEWS
    18/07/2023

    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.

    Read more
  7. OUR NEWS
    04/07/2023

    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…

    Read more
  8. OUR NEWS
    22/06/2023

    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…

    Read more
  9. OUR NEWS
    16/06/2023

    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!

    Read more
  10. OUR NEWS
    15/06/2023

    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.

    Read more
  11. OUR NEWS
    07/06/2023

    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.

    Read more
  12. OUR NEWS
    07/04/2023

    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.

    Read more
  13. OUR NEWS
    28/03/2023

    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.

    Read more
  14. OUR NEWS
    24/03/2023

    Gail Schofield

    We learned with deep sadness the passing away of Gail Schofield, a pronounced sea turtle researcher and former ARCHELON volunteer. Read more…

    Read more
  15. OUR NEWS
    20/03/2023

    More than half of the rehabilitated sea turtles got released back to the sea in 2022!

    The Sea Turtle Rescue Centre of ARCHELON in Glyfada rescues, takes care of and rehabilitates injured sea turtles from all parts of Greece since 1994. More than half of the sea turtles that were under care at the Rescue Centre in 2022 got released back to the sea after reaching full recovery this year! Read more…

    Read more
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