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
Collisions of boats with sea turtles continue at Zakynthos National Marine Park - When will fines be imposed?
- OUR NEWS02/02/2024
Sea turtles in the Greek wetlands of international importance
World Wetlands Day is celebrated every year on February 2. These vulnerable areas of the planet are a refuge for migratory birds and other wildlife species, including sea turtles. ARCHELON is present in wetlands that play an important role for sea turtles, such as the Amvrakikos Gulf.
- OUR NEWS24/01/2024
Why are ARCHELON’s projects international?
ARCHELON’s sea turtle conservation projects are organized with the valuable contribution of volunteers who come to Greece every year not just from Europe but from more distant places such as South Korea, Australia, and Colombia. Speaking English while carrying out fieldwork or public awareness activities as well as when interacting with each other in the campsites is essential to the projects.
- OUR NEWS17/01/2024
ARCHELON has been running a special hospital for sea turtles with tanks and impressive old train wagons for 30 years in Glyfada
Turtles with IV and bandages, rehabilitation and recovery tanks, special environmental enrichment equipment, recovery greenhouses, and… renovated train wagons! The hospital for injured and sick turtles that ARCHELON has set up in the 3rd marina of Glyfada, next to the sea, is certainly something out of the ordinary.
- OUR NEWS05/01/2024
What happened in the world of ARCHELON in 2023?
A world record for reproductive life for a sea turtle and 40 years of ARCHELON’s actions for protecting sea turtles are some of the moments we celebrated together this year. So, what happened in the world of ARCHELON in 2023? Here are some highlights of the past year.
- OUR NEWS21/12/2023
Assuming responsibility for the environment brings more meaning into our lives
“ARCHELON is an opportunity, not only for the animals and the ecosystems, but also for us who participate in it and for the society in which we operate”. Thomas Arapis, President and founding member of ARCHELON, talks about the efforts of the organization and about what he aspires for the future.
- OUR NEWS20/12/2023
Forty years later: the world of ARCHELON has expanded
Thomas Arapis, President and founding member of the Association gives the current coordinates of ARCHELON. "We encounter many turtles in our daily activities, and even more people, many more people actually, who help us. Amongst them are the people who work for us, they stand out for they represent the Association out there, through thick and thin".
- OUR NEWS20/12/2023
19 Environmental NGOs ask the Greek Government not to consent to a change in the wolf protection status in Europe
- OUR NEWS15/12/2023
Messages of love from the world turtle community!
Celebrating ARCHELON's 40th Anniversary we have received warm messages from the turtle community worldwide
- OUR NEWS14/12/2023
When the past becomes a lighthouse for the future
Thomas Arapis, the President of ARCHELON and one of its founding members talks about the quality and values, and the people who marked the setting up and subsequent action of ARCHELON. “Dimitris Margaritoulis taught us, not only the methodology for monitoring and protecting them, but also what it means to organize tasks, take responsibility, work as a team, evaluate our course and cooperate with each other”, he says.
- OUR NEWS12/12/2023
Notes of a volunteer (Part 2): Ηead trauma happens more often and is more serious than you think
Jessica Van Damme who volunteered at the ARCHELON Sea Turtle Rescue Centre for 6 weeks in 2023, talks about what she learned while taking care of sea turtles with human caused injuries.
- OUR NEWS04/12/2023
Notes of a volunteer (Part 1): Jessica Van Damme was at the Rescue Centre
“During my 6-week stay, there were more than 30 injured sea turtles being treated at the Rescue Centre. Seven of them were successfully released, but, during the same period there were five new arrivals – all turtles with human-caused injuries. We, humans, are their biggest threat!”, writes Jessica.
- OUR NEWS30/11/2023
Summer 2024: Come back to sea turtle conservation as a leader!
Joining or returning to ARCHELON’s sea turtle projects as a Field Leader will give you the opportunity to lead specific activities as well as train and help others in the projects. These positions provide a higher level of experience in nature conservation/ environment protection, as well as improved communication and leadership skills. Hurry and apply now! Only a limited number of experienced and skilled volunteers are selected to serve as leaders in each project.
- OUR NEWS23/11/2023
The establishment of the “Amvrakikos Alliance”
The Alliance's vision in collaboration with the local community is to highlight the unique ecological value and the natural and cultural heritage of Amvrakikos, for the most effective management, restoration, and protection of its ecosystems and biodiversity.
- OUR NEWS16/11/2023
Kids Beach Competition 2023: Turtles made of natural materials that stole our hearts!
The little friends of ARCHELON who participated in the Kids Beach Competition 2023 formed turtles from pebbles, sand, water, rocks, sticks, leaves and shells, spreading the message of protecting sea turtles on the various beaches of Greece. Angeliki's (7 years old) little turtle on top of the big rock stole 694 hearts and became the winner!
- OUR NEWS15/11/2023
The Field Leaders of 2023 and their role
Matthew from the UK, Noha from France, David from the Netherlands, Aris from Greece started one summer as volunteers knowing little about turtles and their protection. Their experience made them return to the conservation projects as Field Leaders to take on more responsibilities, as trainers and mentors for new volunteers.