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



    Coordination for the protection of sea turtles in Rethymno: Local authorities and tourism businesses join forces

    The meeting, which took place on April 5, 2024, in the building of the Regional Unit of Rethymno, touched upon key issues, such as the observance of conservation measures for the protection of the Loggerhead sea turtle. Given the tourist activity on the nesting beaches, the active participation of the tourism sector in the implementation of the measures is necessary.

    Read more

    "Tourists and turtles?" The environmental awareness campaign of ARCHELON spreads to the nesting beaches of the Loggerhead sea turtle

    After the pandemic, ARCHELON - the Sea Turtle Protection Society of Greece - is once again mobilizing on the path to sustainable tourism. The aim of the new campaign is to provide information on the appropriate code of conduct for visitors to all nesting beaches, in cooperation with the tourism sector.

    Read more

    LIFE MareNatura - The largest marine biodiversity program in Greece

    Read more

    Citizens inform us of sea turtle strandings

    ARCHELON started the effort to record the incidents of dead turtles washing up on the Greek shores in 1992. In recent years there has been an increase in these records which may be due to more of our fellow citizens reporting such incidents. Learn more…

    Read more

    Contributing to international developments on sea turtle research and conservation

    In the past, members of ARCHELON were actively involved in the elaboration of the Global Strategy for the Conservation of Marine Turtles, published in 1995, and nowadays three of our collaborators participate in the writing of the revised guidebook “Research and Management Techniques for the Conservation of Sea Turtles”.

    Read more

    The Over & Above Awards for 2023

    These are the ARCHELON Over & Above Awards for 2023.

    Read more

    The moving experience of Frederique at the Rescue Centre

    At ARCHELON, you'll have the opportunity to meet and work together with new people and form lasting friendships - a major benefit of volunteering.

    Read more

    Presentation of ARCHELON 2023 Results: Here is some good news!

    On Thursday February 15th, 2024, ARCHELON’s annual Presentation of Results took place downtown, at the Impact Hub Athens. When welcoming members, staff, collaborators, friends and volunteers, Daphne Mavrogiorgos, Director of ARCHELON, spoke about the multi-leveled action of ARCHELON during 2023.

    Read more

    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.

    Read more
  10. OUR NEWS

    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.

    Read more
  11. OUR NEWS

    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.

    Read more
  12. OUR NEWS

    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.

    Read more
  13. OUR NEWS

    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.

    Read more
  14. OUR NEWS

    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".

    Read more
  15. OUR NEWS

    19 Environmental NGOs ask the Greek Government not to consent to a change in the wolf protection status in Europe

    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!