Will the loggerhead sea turtles continue nesting on the beaches of Crete?
The annual report of ARCHELON for the conservation of the loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta) on the island of Crete was published a few days ago and reached the desks of competent authorities. According to the information contained in the report, 446 nests were located and protected during the 2018 nesting season in the three main nesting habitats of this protected species, namely the beaches of Rethymno, Chania and Messara bay.
One of the most important findings is that, in comparison with previous years, the decreasing trends in the number of nests on Rethymno and Chania beaches has not been reversed. The mean annual number of nests in Rethymno during 2000-2018 was 203 nests/ year, still 47,5% lower than the mean annual number of nests during 1990-1999 which was 387 nests/ year. Similarly in Chania, the mean annual number of nests in the period 2003-2018 was 64 nests/ year, again 42% lower that the respective number during 1992-2002 (110 nests/year).
The continuous decreasing trend clearly shows that the negative impacts of tourism in the reproduction of this species need to be addressed without any further delay. Multilateral efforts for the implementation of management measures included in existing legislation for the protection of the species continued in 2018. The need to keep proper space available for nests and hatchlings on the busy beaches of Crete was communicated by ARCHELON to more than 31000 people, including visitors, locals and pupils.
The Directorate for Environment and Spatial Planning of the Region of Crete and the related units in Rethymno and Chania gave valuable support to the projects by organizing information workshops and surveying the implementation of the measures on the nesting beaches. The Municipalities of Rethymno, Chania and Festos as well the Coastal Guards were active contributors to the same cause.
Another important finding from our records of the nesting season of 2018 on Crete is that there was a slight increase in the number of beach businesses which complied with the measures by removing the beach furniture during the night in Rethymno and Chania. On the beaches of Rethymno 68% of the beach businesses made efforts to free space of the beach for the adult female sea turtles to lay their nests. The respective percentage was 65% of beach businesses in Chania. On the beaches of Messara bay, this percentage was 75% and it was unfortunately lower than the previous 2 years where it had reached 100%.
We would like to thank all the businesses that complied with measures, on behalf of the 150 volunteers from all over the world that joined the projects of Crete as well as ARCHELON staff. We would also like to thank everyone that actively supported the efforts for the conservation of sea turtles on Crete, the people living and working in these areas, the visitors and the authorities. We promise that ARCHELON will be there, by the nesting beaches, also during the 2019 nesting season to welcome the sea turtles and help protected them.
Warmest greetings from Ghana, West Africa!
The protection of the Loggerhead Sea turtles in the nesting habitats of Crete during 2018 (in Greek)
- 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.