27/01/2022

The nesting sea turtles in south Peloponnese

The ARCHELON projects for monitoring and protection of the nesting loggerhead sea turtles in Romanos, Koroni, and on the beaches of Lakonikos bay started at the end of May and were completed by the end of September 2021.According to preliminary data, a total of 650 nests were recorded in 29 km of beach surveyed. In addition, the researchers / volunteers of the ARCHELON projects informed about 2000 visitors in the areas of Koroni and Lakonikos.

"We thank the researchers, volunteers and field leaders, who, despite the difficult conditions of the pandemic, carried out these activities", says Galini Samlidou, biologist, Project Manager of ARCHELON for the Peloponnese.

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The activities in Romanos were carried out by Costas Teneketzis. Neil Davis was the Monitoring Coordinator In Koroni. The Field Leaders in Lakonikos were Thanos Michailidis (Monitoring Coordinator) and Constance Giradeau (Monitoring Leader). Electra Athinaiou was the Project Assistant in south Peloponnese.

One of the critical measures for allowing space on beach for the nesting of sea turtles is the removal of beach furniture at night. "Local businesses in Koroni implemented this measure throughout the season and, from mid-July onwards, businesses on most of the beaches of Lakonikos bay implemented it as well. We hope that all Municipalities and businesses will be supportive next summer", adds Galini.

But what happened when the nests in Lakonikos started to hatch? It was observed that hatchlings, which had already entered the sea, were coming out again on land, disoriented by photo-pollution on the coast. "The problem of lights in the coastal zone of Lakonikos remained extremely intense - we hope for a wider cooperation and better results in the coming years," says Panagiota Theodorou, Coordinator of legal and institutional issues of ARCHELON. "An example to imitate, was the cooperation of ARCHELON with the Costa Navarino hotel units on Romanos beach in Messinia, who made sure that the conditions on the beach were ideal for sea turtle nesting", she adds.

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The main nesting beaches of the loggerhead sea turtle (Caretta caretta) in south Peloponnese have been included in 2 Natura 2000 sites, as follows:

-Beaches of Lakonikos bay: Mavrovouni, Vathi, Selinitsa, Valtaki (total 8.4km.) and Evrota (15km.) in the site GR2540003

- Koroni beach Zaga Memi (2.7km) and Romanou beach (2.7km) in the site GR2550010.

More information on the projects for volunteers:

Koroni: https://www.archelon.gr/eng/volunt_kor.php?mid=2&mid2=53&mid3=59

Lakonikos: https://www.archelon.gr/eng/volunt_lak.php?mid=2&mid2=53&mid3=58

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