How did the turtles do on the nesting beaches in 2020?

As soon as the pandemic started, we decided that monitoring and protecting the nests on the main nesting beaches in Greece was a priority. Despite the difficulties we faced, ARCHELON managed to have a complete picture of the nesting of sea turtles on the major nesting sites in 2020.

"2020 was a year with many nests," says Regina Stefanatou, the Field Project Coordinator. "A total of about 7,600 nests were recorded in Zakynthos, Crete and the Peloponnese on 73.8 km of beach monitored". The monitoring and protection of loggerhead nests was completed for the 37th consecutive year in Zakynthos and the southern part of Kyparissia Bay, while in Crete ( Rethymno, Chania, Messara) and Laconikos Bay the projects are in their third decade.


"There were a lot of nests this year, so the necessary quality control of all the data collected is not completed yet," said the Monitoring Supervisor Gonzalo Lourenco, who returned to the beaches in 2020 to help. The final number of nests in the monitoring and protection project in Zakynthos is 1861 nests. ARCHELON collaborated again this year with the Management Body of the National Marine Park of Zakynthos.


The number of nests recorded in all nesting areas was higher than the corresponding average of previous years in the same areas. But this is not due to the reduced presence of people on the nesting beaches during the pandemic. The increased number of nests is probably due to the increased number of adult female turtles that managed to store the energy needed for their migration in 2020 from various parts of the Mediterranean to the beaches of Greece.


Again this year, protection measures were applied to the nests that were evaluated as vulnerable because of predators (stray dogs, foxes, etc.) or by possible flooding in case of storm or by light pollution during the hatching stage. The human presence on the nesting beaches was greatly reduced and became more noticeable in August.

"2020 required vigilance, constant monitoring, evaluation and adjustment," Regina continues. Due to travel restrictions and the need to comply with the measures against the spread of COVID-19 in the camps, ARCHELON had to face the cancellation of the participation of 80% of volunteers from abroad in all projects.


Eventually, the nests were recorded and protected with the assistance of 97 volunteers, 11 seasonal staff and 5 permanent staff members. Moreover, several enthusiastic and experienced local friends of ARCHELON carried out the projects in Chania and Messara bay on Crete and Laconikos bay.

One more thing: the people of ARCHELON managed to welcome and accommodate 113 people in the Research Stations and to talk to 4,000 people about the sea turtles in the nesting areas, without a single case of COVID-19 recorded in the projects..

Well done, bravo to everyone involved!

The nesting beach projects for the summer of 2021 are now open for participation! You can check out the general information and requirements here: https://www.archelon.gr/eng/volunt.php?mid=2



    World Tourism Day 2023: Are there sea turtle-friendly hotels in north Crete?

    But why is tourism important to sea turtles?

    Read more

    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

    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

    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

    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

    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

    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

    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

    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
  10. OUR NEWS

    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
  11. OUR NEWS

    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
  12. OUR NEWS

    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
  13. OUR NEWS

    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
  14. OUR NEWS

    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
  15. OUR NEWS

    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
1 out of 0
Subscribe to our newsletter!
Learn about our latest actions and find out about our programs and how you can help sea turtles!