One year LIFE EUROTURTLES
LIFE EUROTURTLES Programme involves 9 Beneficiaries from 6 EU Countries (Italy, Malta, Slovenia, Croatia, Greece and Cyprus) in a common effort to protect East Mediterranean Sea turtles. This project is co-sponsored by the EU and the Beneficiaries (ARCHELON, as the only beneficiary from Greece, is providing the same resources to support its implementation) in order to carry out these actions on land and at sea.
LIFE EUROTURTLES Programme has been running for a year already and the first results are already apparent!
In particular, as far as the laying period of Caretta Caretta in Greece is concerned, ARCHELON had the chance to “elongate” its actions to the species laying sites, as recording and protecting the sea turtles was random so far (C1 action). The results were remarkable: On the North Golf of Kiparissia, from Neda to Alfios River (meaningly, northern than the area of action of the multiyear Golf Association Programme), 387 nests were discovered and 278 of them were protected.
At the beach front of Evrotas (NE from the area of the multiyear Association Programme of Gythio beaches), 174 nests were discovered and 56 of them were protected. In addition, a new collaboration was established, between ARCHELON and the Katouchi-Strofylia Lagoon Managing Body and Mr Dionysios Mamasis. At the area Kounoupeli- Kotychi, 26 nests were discovered and 23 of them were protected. An “intensive” 3 week programme begun at the beach of Preveza (Kastrosikia-Mytikas), under the supervision of the Zakynthos Area Programme Coordinator, Anna Lamaj, where 3 nests were also discovered and protected. The observation and protection Programme in these areas includes another innovation: the Peloponnese Area Programme Coordinator, Mrs Polymnia Nestoridou and the Monitoring Leader, Mrs Sonia Doblado, after having training sessions with ARCHELON’s Scientific Officer, Mr Alan Rees, they performed drones flight testings for spotting nests on the laying sites beaches of the North Golf of Kiparissia and Laconia and for observing sea turtles at their reproductive natural reserves at sea.
This new technology (once the implementation of the national legislation on drones is concluded), will be incorporated, where deemed necessary, in ARCHELON’s permanent methodology. It is to be noted that, thanks to the drones’ use, a green turtle (Chelonia mydas) was spotted in close proximity to the laying site beach of Evrotas, while from the recent scientific data this specific species was not supposed to approach depths less than 50 meters of this area.
This programme has also certain actions for addressing the threats that sea turtles face by fishing activities. In particular, it includes sharing tools with fishermen, information sessions, interviews with the use of questionnaires and the creation of “hot spot” maps that contain the areas that represent the most intensely inhabited by sea turtles that need to be avoided by the fishermen as much as possible. In particular: In collaboration with HCMR of Crete (Representative, Mr Kapantagakis Argyris) a tool-cutter, that can be easily used in order to cut the line near the hook of a turtle that has been caught in long-lines, was created. Since January 2018 and for the next months, this tool will be handed to fishermen using long-lines to fish in the areas northern of Kissamos, Kassos, Karpathos, Kythira, Napoli, West Greece and subsequently to Euboea (Action C2a). Additionally, in collaboration with the Operator of the Mesolonghi Lagoon and Fishery Associations, there was an update of the fishermen for the presence of sea turtles in the reserve (the lagoon is a very important food field) and the best way of their liberation from the beds when they get captured in them (action C2b), as well as training for 4 experienced fishermen in order to spot sea turtles.
The Mesolonghi action was effected by a volunteer of the Association, Mrs Marina Delligiannaki, the Peloponnese Area Programme Coordinator, Mrs Polymnia Nestoridou and Paul Tsaros, Coordinator of ARCHELON Rescue Network, who suddenly passed away last September, leaving a great gap for the Association.
One year LIFE EUROTURTLES. LIFE EUROTURTLES Programme shall ensure the Centres and Sea Turtle Rescue Networks upgrade (action C5). So far, ARCHELON had the capacity to equip the STRC in Glyfada, Attiki, with 2 new care tanks as well as to provide transport tanks for injured animals and First Aid Kits to several Seaport Authorities in our country.
It is to be noted that LIFE EUROTURTLES Programme includes various activities on public awareness. Notably, with the support of the Programme, many sea turtles that have been cared for in the Sea Turtle Rescue Centre have been liberated and public nest excavations have been performed in Peloponnese and Crete. In terms of awareness, with the participation of the illustrator and specialist in environmental interpretation, Mr Vasilis Chatzibarsanis, an up to date and modern training material will be published, that will meet in the best way possible the requirements of training for the new generations. Within the LIFE EUROTURTLES framework, the training material will be translated in English as well as the other Stakeholder countries languages.
Every year the 9 Beneficiaries Meeting is organized in one of the 7 countries of implementation (action F1). In 2016 the 1st meeting was organized in Zagreb, Croatia, under the auspices of the Museum of Natural History of Croatia and the Blue World Institute. This year’s meeting took place in Larnaka, Cyprus, on September 26th to 28th, under the auspices of the Oceanographic Institute of Cyprus University and the Fishery and Maritime Research Department of the Ministry of Environment of the Republic of Cyprus.
During the last meeting, the stakeholders had the honour to tour the protected area of Lara-Tokseutra, that constitutes a very important reproduction reserve for the green turtle, as well as the caretta caretta, from one of the first “turtle supporters” of the Mediterranean, Mr Andreas Dimitropoulos.
(translation: Irene Neofytou)
Joanne, whatʼs new at the Rescue Center (October - November 2017)?
Volunteering with ARCHELON
- OUR NEWS27/09/2023
World Tourism Day 2023: Are there sea turtle-friendly hotels in north Crete?
But why is tourism important to sea turtles?
- 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…