Zakynthos, hatchling season is well underway!


In Zakynthos, Archelon volunteers are hard at work monitoring nearly 1500 nests for hatchlings. Each day our volunteers check the beaches of Laganas Bay for hatchling tracks from baby sea turtles that came out during the night. Hatchlings use the reflection of the moon and stars on the water to guide them to sea. However, it is sometimes possible for hatchlings to emerge from the nest in the morning hours and during the day in which case the sand can be too hot causing hatchlings to be very weak making them unable to make it to sea. Our volunteers are specially trained to assist these hatchlings, for instance, by clearing away hot sand and shading them from the sun.

We also use daytime hatching events as an opportunity to inform the public on how to treat hatchlings to ensure that little disturbance is placed on the sea turtles so that they can travel safely to the sea. In case hatchlings do journey to the sea during the day, it is important that we give them plenty of space to travel. Hatchlings do not always journey in a straight line from the nest to the sea and it is difficult to predict where they will go! It is also important that we do not enter the sea with the hatchlings because the waves can move the hatchlings in unpredictable ways often taking them several attempts to get past the waves. People should never carry hatchlings and place them in the sea because they use their walk to the sea as a way to build strength for swimming. While it may be hot, we never put water on the hatchling. Pouring water on hatchlings can signal to them that they are no longer on land, but in the sea, and they will start to swim instead of crawl on the beach. All of this is information that we use to educate visitors to the beaches in Laganas Bay about how to treat the baby Loggerhead Sea Turtles.


Volunteer Alayna Dorobek (United States of America) remarks, “Each nest and experience helping a hatchling is unique. We never know what to expect on a morning survey and it is important that we approach each day with enthusiasm, respect and dedication to protecting each nest. I think all of the volunteers would agree that we are incredibly grateful to work with ARCHELON in order to receive special training to have these experiences and help conserve the Loggerhead Sea Turtle. The opportunity to have these first- hand experiences with the sea turtles as well as educate the public about these amazing prehistoric creatures will change all of us forever.”

Information: Anna Lamaj, Zakynthos Program Coordinator, tel.: +30 6940454976



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