Sea turtles return to nest on the beaches of Crete
This year’s first nest of the loggerhead turtle on Crete was recorded on the beaches of Messara Bay. ARCHELON’s team located the nest on May 23 at Kommos beach and placed a protective cage to avoid disturbance. Morning surveys begin tomorrow on the beach of Rethymnon and in the coming weeks in Chania. The teams will gradually include more researchers / volunteers, always taking precautions against the spreading of coronavirus COVID19 in their areas of residence and activity.
A new life cycle of sea turtles in the Mediterranean begins with the nests that will be made in their nesting habitats, on the beaches in Rethymnon, Chania and Messara bay. Sporadic nests will probably be found, as in previous years, in other areas and especially in Sitia, a local team will support ARCHELON in the protection of the nests.
The journey of the new generation of loggerheads Caretta will begin with their hatching on a sandy beach from the end of July. There is little data on the first years of their lives, also known as "lost years" and according to some estimates less than 1 in 1000 hatchlings will reach reproductive age. Young turtles have been recorded in areas that are feeding grounds, and when they reach adulthood, female turtles will start returning to the same beach where they were born to lay, their eggs every one or two summers.
Greece hosts the largest number of Caretta nests in the entire Mediterranean. One of the most important areas for their long term conservation is Crete. The beaches of Rethymno, Chania and the Gulf of Messara are included in sites of the European Ecological Network NATURA2000 in Greece, with codes GR4330004 (Rethymno), GR4340003 (Chania) and GR4310004 (Messara Bay) exactly because they host the nesting of sea turtles.
To protect this unique visitor, all of us, visitors, businessmen and permanent residents of the area, must help in the following ways:
• By placing beach umbrellas in fixed points and on axes perpendicular to the wave line
• By removing / suspending of beach furniture after sunset, so that there is enough space available for nesting during the night
• By washing beach furniture in an area behind the beach, so that the nests do not get wet and the eggs are not broken
• By leaving traces of turtles and hatchlings intact on the beach until the daily count by the ARCHELON research team.
• By avoiding to place facilities such as permanent shading and showers on the beach
• By avoiding human presence, noise and artificial lights on the beach during the evening hours
• By not using heavy beach cleaning vehicles during the period May-October
We wish a good summer for everybody and we hope to meet you in our public awareness activities on the beach or in the kiosks!
Information: Galini Samlidou, Officer for Crete ARCHELON, tel .: 6937352379, email: email@example.com
Coordinated actions for sea turtles on the European coasts and seas of the Mediterranean continue
ARCHELON meets with the loggerheads while taking up special protection against COVID19
- 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.