Joanne, whatʼs new at the Rescue Center (December 2017)?

To see a man’s true power, let him run free with nature. To see a man’s true nature, let him run free with power.” Unknown

It would have been a great holiday gift for ARCHELON if there were no new injured turtle arrivals at the RC in December. Unfortunately, this was not the case.

Many thanks to all the full-time volunteers from abroad and to the local day volunteers for helping care for the turtles and for maintaining the facilities at the RC.

Turtle news


On 21 December 2017, ‘Nicholas’, an adult male loggerhead with a carapace measuring 71.0 cm and weighing 45.0, arrived from Kefallonia with a head injury deliberately caused by human action. Unfortunately, the turtle’s injuries were so severe that he did not survive the trip to the RC. We would like to thank the Kefalonia Wildlife Sense team (https://wildlifesense.com/en/) for rescuing and administering first aid to this turtle, and for their continued collaboration with the ARCHELON Rescue Center.



Thanks to the relatively mild winter weather, it was possible to release four rehabilitated turtles back into the sea in December!

Maua’ had arrived from Kefalonia on 9 August 2017. The turtle, who had ingested a hook and line, had been rescued by the Kefalonia Wildlife Sense team. The loggerhead was successfully rehabilitated and released by beach at Kakia Thalassa on 7 December 2017.

Myra’, a loggerhead who had arrived on 17 August 2017 from Amvrakikos with a fishing line coming out of its cloaca, was successfully treated and rehabilitated. ‘Myra’ was released on 7 December 2017 from Kakia Thalassa.


Nikos’ had arrived at the RC on 18 August 2017 from Preveza with a head injury deliberately caused by human action. Fortunately, the turtle was successfully treated and rehabilitated, and released back into the sea on 13 December 2017 from Kakia Thalassa beach.

Joufflu’, who had been rescued by the Kefalonia Wildlife Sense team on 13 October 2017, had two ingested fishing hooks and fishing line. The turtle was successfully treated and rehabilitated, and released by beach at Kakia Thalassa on 13 December 2017.

Other news

As usual, the annual ARCHELON Christmas luncheon was held at the RC. Members of the board, ARCHELON staff, full-time volunteers and many part-time volunteers (who had time off from their normal jobs at that time) attended and got into the holiday spirit with good food, games, stories, and the ‘secret Santa’ gift sharing.


A personal note

As the year ends, I can’t help but look back at 2017. It was a year of great change at the RC; some of the changes were... painful, and yet many of them were positive and inspirational. Perhaps it is not my place as a volunteer to express my feelings in the official report, but because 2017 was an exceptional year, I find that I must. If we hadn’t known it before, I think we all learned the hard way that ‘tomorrow is not a given’.

It was amazing to see the way all the family of ARCHELON volunteers and staff pulled together to keep the RC going after the sudden, devastating loss of our beloved Pavlos, and how all of us are determined to keep alive his love and passion for saving sea turtles. Eirini Kasmati has been doing a fantastic job in taking on all the responsibilities which were Pav’s, and Dimitris Fytilis has also been a stabilizing figure at the RC during this difficult time.

There were also other administrative changes at ARCHELON which were bittersweet. For example, Theoni, the Volunteer Co-ordinator for so many years, returned from her leave, but Hara, who had been filling in for her for the last year or so, left, just to mention one example.

It was also amazing to see how the sea turtles, despite terrible injuries, fight to stay alive, and against all odds, many of them succeed! It was inspiring to meet or hear reports of the many people who found injured turtles and who did so much to rescue them and to support their treatment. It is also a pleasure to know that many groups in different parts of Greece are doing so much to save not only endangered sea creatures, but also to save and rehabilitate other animals, their habitats, and the environment.

I would also personally like to thank Dino, the coordinator of the group ARCHELON Volunteers in Greece, for organizing so many events for us volunteers. The museum visits and other events he is mainly responsible for help keep the volunteers’ sense of ‘family’ alive and well. Thanks also to all the local volunteers for giving up their free time on the weekends to give tours of the RC, to those volunteer drivers who get up in the middle of the night to pick up an injured turtle from the port or bus terminal, to everyone who takes on various jobs to maintain the RC facilities, like gardening, painting wagons, repairing things, updating stranding reports, and all kinds of other jobs.

Many thanks to:

Best wishes to everyone for a happy, healthy, prosperous, successful 2018 filled with love and happiness!




    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

    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

    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

    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

    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

    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

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

    Read more

    Messages of love from the world turtle community!

    Celebrating ARCHELON's 40th Anniversary we have received warm messages from the turtle community worldwide

    Read more

    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.

    Read more
  10. OUR NEWS

    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.

    Read more
  11. OUR NEWS

    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.

    Read more
  12. OUR NEWS

    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.

    Read more
  13. OUR NEWS

    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.

    Read more
  14. OUR NEWS

    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!

    Read more
  15. OUR NEWS

    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.

    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!