Joanne, whatʼs new at the Rescue Centre (October 2016)?
Our volunteer at the Rescue Centre Joanne Stournara updates us on the events from 1-31 October 2016.
Turtles, turtles everywhere... still!
On 1 October 2016, ‘Erica’ (a loggerhead who has a 67cm carapace and who weighs 35 kilos, was brought to the RC from Nafplio. The turtle has a serve head injury on the left side of her head, an injury which was intentionally inflicted by human hands. ‘Erica’ was found along with a number of dead turtles (also with head injuries) in Nafplio by Panos, an Athens resident who was on holiday there. Panos notified the port police and the ARCHELON RC and, after talking with the Rescue Network Coordinator Pavlos Tsaros, immediately decided to personally drive the turtle to Athens for treatment. At this time no prognosis can be made about her. We thank Panos for his great interest in helping save ‘Erica’, including visiting the RC to check on her progress and for adopting the turtle for one month!
‘Aphroditi’, a loggerhead whose carapace measures 79.5 cm and who weighs 62 kilos, arrived on 2 October 2016 from Preveza with a head injury. The turtle, who was named after the ancient Greek goddess of love (known as ‘Venus’ to the Romans), was found by Vasilis, a former ARCHELON volunteer and a member of the ARCHELON Rescue Network. It is too early to make any predictions about her chances to survive.
‘Spyros’ arrived at the RC from Legrena on 9 October 2016. The small loggerhead’s carapace is 39.5 cm, and he weighs only 6.5 kilos. The turtle had an ingested hook and a line coming out of his mouth. X-rays show that the hook is located deep within his body, too far down to be surgically removed. The line was able to be removed, and hopefully he will be able to eliminate the hook naturally.
On 14 October 2016, ‘Iris’ arrived from Lefkimmi, Corfu, yet another turtle with a severe head injury intentionally inflicted by human hands. The turtle’s carapace is 56.5 cm, and she weighs 21 kilos. It is too early to make any prognosis about whether she will survive or not. (Note: ‘Iris’ was named after the ancient Greek goddess of the rainbow.)
‘Lia’ arrived at the RC on 22 October 2016 with a severe head injury, yet another one which had been intentionally inflicted by human hands. She was found on a beach on the island of Tinos by a concerned resident, who notified the local port police; in turn, they notified the ARCHELON RC and arranged for her transport to Athens. It is too early to know whether she will survive.
We would like to thank everyone involved in helping to rescue these injured turtles.
Unfortunately, on 7 October 2016, ‘Costas’, who had arrived at the RC on 12 August 2016 from Ikaria with an ingested hook and line, had to be put down. The turtle had received surgery to remove the ingested hook, but it was impossible to remove the line. He received fluids and paraffin oil in the hope that the line would be eliminated naturally. However, he stopped eating and producing feces, and was taken for a second X-ray, which showed the line obstructing his intestine.
Fortunately, a number of turtles were rehabilitated and released back into the sea. We wish them all ‘fair winds and following seas’. 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 on the ARCHELON website home page www.archelon.gr.
‘Lulu’ was found in Porto Germano and driven to the RC in July 2016 by a local resident. The turtle had ingested three hooks, all of which were located too deep in her body to be surgically removed. Fortunately, her treatment was successful, and she passed the hooks naturally. She was released on 7 October 2016.
‘Triantafillos’ (which means ‘rose’ in English), arrived at the RC on 8 August 2016 from Porto Heli (Peloponnese). The loggerhead was found to be suffering from pneumonia, received treatment and recovered his health in time to be released on 13 October 2016.
‘Persa’, who had a serious head injury which caused her neck to twist to one side, was rehabilitated and released on 13 October 2016.
‘Theo’, a small loggerhead , had arrived from Skiathos on 23rd August with an ingested hook, which was surgically removed on 25 August. He was successfully rehabilitated and released on 13 October. Many thanks to Olympic Air for transporting him to Athens.
‘Thoros’ was found and sent to the RC on 7 July 2016 by members of the ARCHELON Amvrakikos team. The turtle had ingested a hook and line. The turtle was successfully rehabilitated and released on 14 October 2016.
On 20 October 2016, ‘Vasilis’, who came to the RC on 14 August 2016 with an ingested hook, was successfully treated and released.
‘Penelope’, who had been found on 21 July 2016 in Skiathos with an ingested hook and line, was successfully treated and released on 20 October 2016. We would once again like to thank Aegean Air for transporting the turtle from Skiathos to Athens.
On 27 October 2016, ‘Panos’, who arrived from Syros on 15 July 2016 with two ingested hooks and lines, was successfully treated and released. Once again, we would like to thank Dr. M. Borissis of ARION for his help in rescuing and caring for this turtle.
Once again, thanks to everyone involved in rescuing, transport, caring for and releasing these turtles.
Despite the huge hole which had been deliberately chopped into her head by someone, ‘Eva’ is doing well! She is becoming more active and even trying to dive.
‘Alexandra’ is now able to dive in spite of her head injury, which is a sign that she is recovering well. She is also eating by herself, and spending more and more time on the bottom.
‘Lyda’, the small turtle who had an ingested line and a neck and flipper injury, is now able to dive and eat on her own! Hopefully, she will be released very soon. (Note: ‘Lyda’ was named after the mythological ancient Greek woman Leda, who was the mother of Castor, Pollux, Helen (of Troy) and Clytemnestra (wife of King Agamemnon) by the god Zeus, who came upon her in the form of a swan.
Did you know...
If you are interested in leatherbacks in the Mediterranean, there are a number of articles you can find on the internet, for example (both are downloadable PDFs, in English):
(For those who may not know, I would like to point out that Dimitris Margaritoulis, co-author of both articles, is one of the founders of ARCHELON.)
ARCHELONʼs Ambassador in Tirol
Participation of ARCHELON at the 1st Herpetological Symposium
- OUR NEWS02/02/2024
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.
- OUR NEWS24/01/2024
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.
- OUR NEWS17/01/2024
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.
- OUR NEWS05/01/2024
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.
- OUR NEWS21/12/2023
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.
- OUR NEWS20/12/2023
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".
- OUR NEWS20/12/2023
19 Environmental NGOs ask the Greek Government not to consent to a change in the wolf protection status in Europe
- OUR NEWS15/12/2023
Messages of love from the world turtle community!
Celebrating ARCHELON's 40th Anniversary we have received warm messages from the turtle community worldwide
- OUR NEWS14/12/2023
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.
- OUR NEWS12/12/2023
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.
- OUR NEWS04/12/2023
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.
- OUR NEWS30/11/2023
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.
- OUR NEWS23/11/2023
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.
- OUR NEWS16/11/2023
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!
- OUR NEWS15/11/2023
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.