The nesting season has begun! Learn what you can do if you find sea turtle tracks or nests on the beach

Every year from the end of May until the end of July, on some beaches in Greece, sea turtles are observed coming out of the sea at night to lay their eggs. The nests are made carefully within the warm sand and that is where sea turtles hide their precious eggs. After nesting, the turtles return to the water leaving behind characteristic tracks on the beach, from which we can figure out that there was "nesting activity " in the location.

first nests of 2023! (1).png

ARCHELON volunteers and other collaborating groups are on the most important nesting beaches of the country, surveying more than 100 km of coastline every day, as well as recording and protecting around 5000 nests every summer. See these areas on the map. But we can't be everywhere!

"The phenomenon of "sporadic nesting" leads to some sea turtle nests being laid on beaches where significant nesting is not usually observed every year", says Panagiota Theodorou, Coordinator of Legal & Statutory Issues at ARCHELON, who coordinates the record collection together with Aliki Panagopoulou, the Research Coordinator. The sporadic appearance of individual sea turtle nests in various parts of Greece is common due to the extensive coastline of the country.

Why are there single sporadic nests? It is known that sea turtles are migratory animals, which travel very long distances. Two types of behavior have been observed with regards to their reproduction. One, the most common, is characterized by "philopatry", i.e. female turtles return to the habitat where they were born to make their nests, when they reach sexual maturity. The second is less frequent and is observed during their travels, when they find themselves in the need to leave their eggs on another, close by beach.

"We are asking for the public's help. The information that citizens send us about nests on other beaches is important. In order to give us the sporadic nesting information, one should download, fill in and send this form to rescue.archelon@gmail.com ", explains Nikos Manias, who is the volunteer responsible for recording the sporadic nesting incidents at ARCHELON. "Everyone can be part of the effort!" he adds.

If you come across tracks of adult sea turtles, nests or hatchlings on the beach near by your home or your vacation this summer contact ARCHELON at (+30) 6941 511 511 or rescue.archelon@gmail.com to receive the appropriate instructions on how you can help!



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