Loggerhead hatchlings found their way to the sea despite the intense light pollution in Rethymnon
On the 10th of October, the ARCHELON team closed down the Rethymnon campsite for the winter and embarked on the 12-hour journey back to Athens after 5 months of intense work protecting the sea turtle nesting beaches.
Lydia Koutrouditsou, ARCHELON’s Project manager for Crete says: “The determination of the volunteers and researchers who joined the project in 2022 was impressive. They surveyed 11 km of beach daily and protected about 170 sea turtle nests, amidst thousands of tourists. They also managed to inform about 14, 000 visitors through hotel presentations, beach walks, and at the Information Station of ARCHELON in the town of Rethymnon. We are grateful for their passion to protect the sea turtles and talk to the people about the issues related to their conservation”.
70 volunteers joined the project in total, each staying for 5 weeks or more, from late May until mid-October, with some of them joining for the second time. They received training from the field leaders: Mia Kotzageorgi (Monitoring Coordinator), Kotsiras Kostas, Sam Finlayson, De Wit Lieke, Fergus Lang (Monitoring Leaders), Grace McFlane, Alicia Kolhosser (Public Awareness Leaders) Aspetaki Eleni (Public Awareness Coordinator). “A big thank you to the Coordinators and the Field leaders, who contributed their experience and hard work to the project. We could not have made it without you" adds Lydia.
The beach of Rethymnon hosts the largest number of loggerhead turtle nests on the island of Crete. ARCHELON has documented a significant decrease in the number of nests since 2020, through long-term monitoring on this site.
Beach furniture and lights on the beach during the summer nights, when sea turtles emerge from the sea to lay their eggs, disturb nesting females and hatchlings. The presence of ARCHELON on the nesting beach of Rethymnon is essential to the nesting sea turtles and the survival of the hatchlings. Team members locate the nests and place protective cages over them to avoid trampling by beach users. Just before the hatchling season, the team place creates “shading” around each nest in order to help baby turtles avoid disorientation by the intense lights and reach the sea safely.
“We will soon start preparing for the 2023 projects, hoping to receive many enthusiastic volunteers and field leaders and maintain the high quality of the projects. We need to protect the nests and hatchlings every year, in order to help restore the sea turtle nesting population in Rethymnon” concludes Lydia.
If you would like to become a volunteer and join the ARCHELON team at Rethymnon, for the 2023 nesting season, make sure to keep an eye out on our website.
ARCHELON’s Rescue Centre counts 27 recovered sea turtle releases since early June!
Threats for sea turtles persist in Zakynthos, despite having saved the nests for 2022
- 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.