Fieldwork at the beach of Preveza
The last ARCHELON mission for 2020 was completed a couple of days ago at the beach of Preveza, in western Greece. More than 15 loggerhead nests have been recorded there, from Kastrosykia to Mytikas, during the last 4 summers.
“What is interesting in this particular beach is the observation of temperature within the nests. We placed the temperature logs in the beginning of the summer and now, after all hatchlings left, we came back to collect them. We are seeking to record any annual changes in the range of temperatures in the nests and whether these correspond to the rising mean temperatures in the air, which are considered part of the current climate crisis” says Galini Samlidou, a conservation biologist working with ARCHELON.
Unlike other organisms that have their sex determined genetically, the sex of the loggerhead hatchlings is determined by temperature. This phenomenon is observed in most species of turtles, crocodiles, many fish species and lizards.
The ratio of male/female hatchlings depends on the range of temperatures inside each nest and it is different in each nesting area of Greece. Lower temperatures in the nest favor male hatchlings while higher temperatures favor female ones. Determining this ratio is vital for any population analysis, especially so for the future survival of this species in the face of climate crisis.
“These recordings are collected since 2017, and contribute to the implementation of the European project LifeEUROTURTLES”, points out Anna Lamaj, who has participated on behalf of ARCHELON also in previous years. The LifeEUROTURTLES project aims at the improvement of connections and synergies in sea turtle conservation issues amongst 6 countries of the European Union (Greece, Cyprus, Italy, Slovenia, Croatia and Malta) in the Mediterranean.
Next comes the analysis of data, which will be done in the upcoming months. Until then, stay safe!