Joanne, whatʼs new at the Rescue Centre (January-February 2017)?

Our volunteer at the Rescue Centre Joanne Stournara updates us on the events in January and February 2017.

Day Volunteers: Six day volunteers received a symbolic gift of appreciation from ARCHELON at the annual pita-cutting event: Dionysis Arvanitakis, John Brinkman, Jane Mantarakis, Irene Kasimatis, Phil Miller, and me. (For details, see http://www.archelon.gr/eng/ournews.php?row=row10&nid=894)


“For most of the wild things on Earth, the future must depend on the conscience of mankind.”

This quote by the famous sea turtle conservationist Archie Carr (1909-1987) seemed an appropriate way to begin this report, the first of the new year. (https://www.fws.gov/refuge/Archie_Carr/)

Usually things are quiet at the RC during the early winter months, with all the injured turtles safely sheltered in their heated tanks within the greenhouse, receiving treatment and preparing to be released in the spring. In fact, usually few if any turtles are admitted for treatment during this time. This may be due to a combination of factors, such as less people out boating or fishing, and the sea turtles are either brumating (= the form of hibernation characteristic of reptiles) or have moved to warmer waters.

For the last several years, due to climate change (an example of the negative effects of “the conscience of mankind”), the weather in Greece has been characterized by relatively mild winters. However, this year was quite different, with periods of mild weather suddenly changing to harsh winter conditions with low or freezing temperatures, then briefly warm again, then suddenly cold. As a result, a number of sea turtles were cold struck, and were either stranded on the sea surface or washed ashore. Emergency measures had to be taken to accommodate these turtles at the RC and to treat them for hypothermia.

Many thanks to the volunteers who had the difficult task of caring for both the turtles already being treated plus the new arrivals. Thanks also to everyone involved in rescuing and transporting the turtles, and to the ARCHELON supporters whose generosity helped the RC manage the unexpected economic demands. All of you are examples of the positive effects of “the conscience of mankind”.



Iraklis” (“Hercules”) arrived on 3 February 2017 from Rhodos. The turtle, whose carapace measures 74 cm and who weighs 46 kilos, was found to have an ingested hook. (Needless to say the turtle was named after the legendary ancient Greek half-god hero Hercules, son of the god Zeus and the mortal Alcmene.)


Polyphytos”, whose carapace measures 78.0 cm and who weighs 58.0 kilos, arrived from Leros on 15 February, suffering from hypothermia. (The turtle is named after the artificial lake Polyphytos in northern Greece, which is known for the famous – and longest in Greece – bridge which traverses it.)

Theodora”, who arrived on 16 February from Rethymno, has a carapace measuring 24.0 cm and weighs only 1.5 kilos. The turtle has no visible injuries, but is very debilitated and covered with barnacles. The turtle was named after the woman who found her, and it means “Gift of God”.


Valentina” arrived on 17 February from Thessaloniki, suffering from hypothermia. The turtle’s carapace measures 73 cm, and she weighs 42.5 kilos.


Marina”, who arrived on 30 January 2017, died shortly after her arrival.

Did you know...

ARCHELON Volunteers in Greece is a group of local volunteers who meet regularly. They do various jobs at the RC, plan and organize RC special events, represent ARCHELON at information tables at various educational and public events, participate in fund-raising and public awareness activities, and have fun at the same time. If you are interested in joining, please contact the ARCHELON Volunteer Officer Hara Papailiou at volunteers@archelon.gr.




    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!