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: firstname.lastname@example.org
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 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…
- OUR NEWS20/03/2023
More than half of the rehabilitated sea turtles got released back to the sea in 2022!
The Sea Turtle Rescue Centre of ARCHELON in Glyfada rescues, takes care of and rehabilitates injured sea turtles from all parts of Greece since 1994. More than half of the sea turtles that were under care at the Rescue Centre in 2022 got released back to the sea after reaching full recovery this year! Read more…