Four-month extension for Life Euroturtles with co-financing of the Ministry of Environment
This is the final year for the transnational co-funded Life Euroturtles program, in which organizations from Italy, Slovenia, Croatia, Greece, Malta and Cyprus implement actions to ensure the survival of sea turtles in the Mediterranean.
The project was extended for four months as the pandemic caused many delays and difficulties in carrying out actions for most partners. ARCHELON is the Greek partner of this project, collaborating with the Hellenic Ministry of Environment and Energy and local bodies, and is heading towards the completion of the actions that have been foreseen.
Which actions were implemented by ARCHELON in 2020?
Despite the difficult conditions of due the pandemic, a total of over 700 nests were protected, all outside the areas where the ARCHELON’s volunteer projects are implemented. Marine areas with a large presence of turtles were also mapped according to information from drone flights launched for this purpose and turtle monitoring with GSM transmitters was also applied.
The draft National Action Plan for the loggerhead sea turtles was completed last year with the cooperation of ARCHELON and the LIFE IP4 Natura project of the Ministry of Environment and now is awaiting to be legislated. In 2020, the exterior of the "intensive care unit" at the Sea Turtle Rescue Center was replaced, which greatly reduced the recovery and rehabilitation time of injured and sick turtles.
However, awareness and educational activities were not left behind: an informative video was created on the activity and life cycle of sea turtles and the translation of the educational pack for schools into English was published, so that it could be used by other partners.
What remains to be done?
This summer, ARCHELON applies nest protection in North Kyparissia bay, the beach in the Kotychi lagoon, as well as other areas where infrequent nesting of sea turtles occurs. Several nests have already been protected in these areas.
Monitoring of sea turtle migrations also continues with the placement of 10 GSM monitoring transmitters on female turtles within Kyparissia bay. At the same time, the information and public awareness programs will continue, to the extent that conditions of the pandemic allows.
The good news is that the Green Fund of the Ministry of Environment will provide more external financial support to the Life Euroturtles project, covering a part of ARCHELON’s own contribution for this last year . This contribution is very important and will help in the successful completion of the project which will end this December.