16/07/2021

Great luck to meet “Ella”, the beautiful fairy, again in Kalo Nero, Kyparissia bay

ARCHELON has been watching this female loggerhead travel all around the Mediterranean with a satellite tracking device for two years now. To see “Ella” safely return back to Kalo Nero, in Kyparissia Bay, where it was tagged in 2019 by the team led by Alan F. Rees, is something to celebrate for. We had the great luck to observe this turtle throughout its migration between two reproductive periods in the Mediterranean!

“We knew that “Ella” was heading to Kyparissia bay already in April and it was spotted via drones close to the nesting beach, during the mating season in the beginning of June” says Galini Samlidou, the Peloponnese Project Manager of ARCHELON. Finally, the volunteers identified the turtle nesting in the beach of Kalo Nero in the early hours of 1 July 2021, during the night survey.

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“The turtle laid eggs only a few meters away from the spot where she was last seen nesting and tagged in 2019. She seemed to be in excellent condition and was very energetic when she covered and camouflaged her nest” Galini reports.

Ella is one of the very few female loggerheads that have been tracked throughout their migration between two reproductive periods worldwide. In 2019 ARCHELON recorded her making 3 nests in Kyparissia bay and then watched her migrate over 1700km to the Western Mediterranean basin, reaching the coasts of France and Spain.

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This is the 40th year that ARCHELON runs night surveys with sea turtle tagging in Kyparissia bay and Zakynthos. Night surveys have yielded valuable information about the reproductive longevity of sea turtles i.e. for how many years females can lay eggs. Satellite tagging and night surveys combined made it possible to determine the loggerhead clutch frequency in Kyparissia bay, i.e. the number of nests made by the same female in a season. Both these parameters can help determine the size and trends of the loggerhead population.

A new migration in the Mediterranean is set to start soon for ‘Ella’. You can watch it from ARCHELON’s website

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How come that “Ella” is called a beautiful fairy? You can read more about “Ella” and the rest of the sea turtles tagged with satellite transmitters in Kyparissia in 2019 in this article .

ARCHELON, a nonprofit environmental NGO, has been carrying out tagging of sea turtles in south Kyparissia bay since 1982. In recent years, Kyparissia bay hosts the largest reproducing populations of the loggerhead sea turtle (Caretta caretta) in the Mediterranean. It is a site of the European Ecological Network Natura 2000 and has been declared a Nature Protection Area in 2018.

The activity of satellite tagging was carried out by ARCHELON in Phase I of the project “Conservation of marine turtles in the Mediterranean Region”, funded by MAVA foundation (2018-2019)

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