Joanne, whatʼs new at the Rescue Centre (November 2016)?
Our volunteer at the Rescue Centre Joanne Stournara updates us on the events from 1-30 November 2016.
‘It might as well be spring’ (Rodgers and Hammerstein song title)
Arrivals / Deaths
‘Iphigenia’ arrived from Leros on 3 November 2016 with possible hypothermia, sent by a member of ARION Cetacean Rescue and Rehabilitation Center. She has no visible injuries, and X-rays reveal she has no ingested hooks, lines, or other detectable problems. Although she is not eating by herself yet, she can dive and is getting more active. She will be spending the winter in the Intensive Care Unit at the RC.
Many thanks to Dr Michalis Kontragouris for his valuable help in rescuing this turtle (and others).
(The turtle was named after the ancient Greek princess Iphigenia, the daughter of the great Mycenaean king Agamemnon and his wife Clytemnestra. Iphigenia’s is a long and interesting story, but in short, she was sacrificed by Agamemnon to the goddess Artemis.)
‘Hades’, an adult male loggerhead whose carapace measured 76cm, arrived on 21 November 2016 from Preveza with a horrific head injury deliberately inflicted by a human. Unfortunately, due to the severity of his injury, he was put down on 23 November 2016. (In ancient Greek mythology, Hades was the brother of Zeus and Poseidon. When the brothers drew lots to divide the rule of the universe, Hades ‘won’ the position of Lord of the Underworld and the Dead.)
‘Kiatou’ arrived on 17 November 2016 from the Port of Kiatou with a visible ingested hook. Unfortunately, she died on the same day. A necropsy revealed she had a second hook inside her, each of which was attached to a separate fishing line. These items caused internal injuries, leading to her death.
‘Spyros’, the small loggerhead (6.5 kilos) who had arrived at the RC from Legrena on 9 October 2016, died on 19 November 2016. The turtle had an ingested hook and line which was impossible to surgically remove because of its location within his body.
‘Kotsina’, a loggerhead whose carapace measured 60.5 cm and who weighed 22 kilos, arrived on 27 November 2016 with injuries to her head and carapace. She had been found stranded on the beach at Kotsina on the Aegean Island of Limnos and sent to the RC by the port police. Unfortunately, she died shortly after her arrival due to the severity of her injuries.
We would like to thank everyone involved in helping to rescue these injured turtles.
Fortunately, because of the unusually favorable weather conditions this month, nine rehabilitated turtles were released back into the sea. Photos and more information about these and other turtle releases can be found on the official ARCHELON FB page. You can access the page via this link https://www.facebook.com/archelon.gr/posts/10154479381291328:0 or by a link to the FB page on the ARCHELON website home page www.archelon.gr.
‘Monica’, who had arrived at the RC on 14 June 2016 from Thessaloniki with a head injury, was released on 4 November 2016 by boat into the Saronic Gulf.
‘Akeso’, from Elafonisos (Crete), arrived on 13 August 2015 with carapace and flipper injuries. He was successfully rehabilitated and released on 13 November 2016 into the Saronic Bay.
‘Phoebe’ is an example of how patience is important when treating turtles with head injuries. She had arrived at the RC on 29 October 2012, gradually regained her health and abilities to dive, find food, etc., and was released on 13 November 2016.
‘Mimi’, who had arrived on 13 September 2016 from Skopelos with an ingested hook and flipper injuries, was released on 13 November 2016 into the Saronic Gulf.
‘Polymnia’ had been found by members of the ARCHELON Kyparissia field team during the summer 2016 season. She was treated successfully and released on 14 November 2016.
‘Sofia’ arrived at the RC on 30 June 2015 from Kalamata with carapace injuries. She was successfully treated and released on 14 November 2016 into the Saronic Gulf.
‘Bilbo’ was released on 18 November 2016 from Katafugi beach, Attica. He had arrived at the RC on 31 July 2016 from Kefalonia with injuries to his carapace and plastron, as well as an ingested hook.
‘Alexandra’ arrived on 26 February 2015 from Rodos. Her head injury was successfully treated, and she was released on 24 November 2016 from Katafugi, Attica.
‘Fotis’ was released on 25 November 2016 by boat into the Saronic Gulf. He had arrived at the RC on 24 June 2015 from Katafugi with head and flipper injuries.
‘Giorgos’ is enjoying the good weather outdoors in the big outdoor tank. He has improved greatly, and is managing to dive more frequently. He is able to reach his food at the bottom of the big tank, which is good news. He is not well enough to be released this year, but hopefully next year he will be free again!
Twenty-two turtles will be treated at the Centre over the winter. Out of the 22, 14 have head injuries. Head injuries take a long time to heal, but in some cases patience pays off. For example, ‘Phoebe’ and ‘Eos’ had both been at the Centre for some time, but both recovered their health and were / will be released in 2016 (‘Phoebe’ in November, and ‘Eos’ in December).
Did you know...
The terms ‘overwinter’ and ‘brumation’ refer to how sea turtles survive during the cold winter months. Because sea turtles are members of the reptile family, they are cold-blooded, which means they cannot adjust their body temperature according to weather conditions. So how do sea turtles overwinter (i.e. survive through the winter)? Some migrate to areas with sea temperatures greater than 15oC, and some brumate, which is a special term used to describe a state of relative inactivity in a reptile. In the case of sea turtles, this means that they are able to stay underwater for long periods of time without swimming to the surface to breathe. It is hard to track and study sea turtles thoroughly enough to acquire sufficient and appropriate data to do a scientific analysis of their overwintering behavior.
However, according to an interesting study published online, the “duration and maximum depth were obtained for a total of 1952 dives and dive profiles were available for 229 of these. Median dive durations increased from a minimum of 5.5 min in July to a maximum of 341 min in February. The maximum recorded dive duration was 410 min. Surfacing intervals after such long dives lasted between 5 and 7 min. The increase in dive duration coincided with the decrease in SST and the change of season.” (2005, Hochscheid, S., Bentivegna F. and G.C. Hays, The Royal Society Publishing, Biology Letters, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1629053/).
- OUR NEWS15/09/2023
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!
- OUR NEWS17/08/2023
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.
- OUR NEWS07/08/2023
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.
- OUR NEWS01/08/2023
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”.
- OUR NEWS21/07/2023
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.
- OUR NEWS18/07/2023
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.
- OUR NEWS04/07/2023
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…
- OUR NEWS22/06/2023
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…
- OUR NEWS16/06/2023
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!
- OUR NEWS15/06/2023
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.
- OUR NEWS07/06/2023
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.
- OUR NEWS07/04/2023
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.
- OUR NEWS28/03/2023
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.
- OUR NEWS24/03/2023
We learned with deep sadness the passing away of Gail Schofield, a pronounced sea turtle researcher and former ARCHELON volunteer. Read more…
- OUR NEWS20/03/2023
More than half of the rehabilitated sea turtles got released back to the sea in 2022!
The Sea Turtle Rescue Centre of ARCHELON in Glyfada rescues, takes care of and rehabilitates injured sea turtles from all parts of Greece since 1994. More than half of the sea turtles that were under care at the Rescue Centre in 2022 got released back to the sea after reaching full recovery this year! Read more…