05/12/2022

Sea turtles and tourists in Chania: conservation in action

The area of Chania combines natural beauty with rich history and is a very popular international tourist destination. The fact that loggerhead sea turtles continue to lay eggs amongst all things happening in the coastal zone of this area, is amazing by itself.

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"The systematic recording and protection of the nests began in 1990 after the first wave of tourist development had begun. Within the first decade, it was found that the number of nests had decreased significantly. Since then, the people of ARCHELON have been trying to safeguard the functions of nature on the beach, so that the sea turtle population reproducing in Chania can recover.

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The presence of ARCHELON on the beaches was essential for the protection of each sea turtle nest. Over 85 nests were recorded and protected from intense human activity by ARCHELON’s volunteers/researchers on 14 km of nesting beach. The field Leaders that trained and coordinated the volunteers in the field were: Grace Mc Farlane and Gracie Rowe (Monitoring Field Leaders), Grosjean Lucie (Public Awareness Leader and Camp and Volunteer Leader), Sheath-Vali-Shariat-Panahi Lily and Ellie Guillnneau (Monitoring Leaders), and Lang Fergus (Camp and Volunteer Leader).

“I am grateful to all the volunteers/researchers and field leaders that participated in this year's project, for the effort that everyone made to protect the sea turtles this year. They gave 100% of themselves and I am sure they gained a lot from this experience as well", adds Lydia.

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About 6,607 visitors responded to the public awareness actions: they visited the ARCHELON’s information station at the Old harbor, attended our presentations at hotels, and participated in the events organized at the sea turtle nesting beaches.

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The project ended in October, the Information Station closed down for the winter, and back in Athens, at the offices of ARCHELON, volunteer applications for 2023 have begun…

If you would also like to take part in the sea turtle protection project on the nesting beaches in Chania, apply here.

You can download the brochure with all the 2023 projects.

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