Green turtle nesting on Cretan beach is confirmed!
Thanks to a notice received from a local enterprise in Kalamaki, Messara Bay, on July 22, 2019, the team of ARCHELON confirmed that the Green turtle (Chelonia mydas) also nests on Crete. The event was recorded with all necessary precautions (red LED flashlight, no flash photos) and the nest was protected according to the appropriate methodology. It is noted that this is the second time the Green turtle has been spotted in Crete. The first nesting record on Crete was made in 2007 at Rethymno beach by ARCHELON and was confirmed by the hatchlings.
But what do we know about this species and its conservation needs?
The Green turtle is the second species of sea turtle nesting on the Mediterranean coast after our well-known loggerhead.
The species differs morphologically from loggerheads and is recognized externally mainly by four pairs of side plates, none of which borders the nuchal plate, one pair of prefrontal scales between the eyes, instead of two in loggerheads and four posterior plates instead of three in loggerheads.
It also has a more "round" carapace, instead of the "heart shaped" carapace of loggerheads and proportionately (relative to its size) smaller head. The hatchlings have a light colored belly, they are gray on the top with lighter gray around the shell and edges of the flippers.
Small green turtles are omnivorous, that is, they feed on various sea plants and animals, but when they grow up they feed almost exclusively on sea plants.
The Green turtle is considered an endangered species worldwide and is protected by international conventions, European and Greek law. Its breeding areas in the Mediterranean are confined to its easternmost tip, mainly in Turkey, Cyprus and Syria. Measures for the protection of breeding sites and specific monitoring programs exist mainly in Turkey, Cyprus and Israel.
Their dietary fields are identified in the eastern Mediterranean and North Africa up to the west coast of Libya where they migrate after breeding. The hitherto known threats faced by green turtles are accidental catches in fishing nets and tourism development in breeding habitats. In the Greek seas there are almost exclusively juvenile green turtles. In the Laconic Gulf there is a relatively high concentration of them and therefore the bay is considered a developmental habitat of the Green Turtle in Greece.
We thank ARCHELON volunteers of the Messara Bay program and our friend in kalamaki for their extremely helpful observation!
Penelope returns to her Ithaca in the Ionian Sea
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- 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
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- 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
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- OUR NEWS07/06/2023
Announcement for all past volunteers of ARCHELON: Shall we meet this September?
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- 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…