First nest of the Sea Turtles of Crete today, the World Turtle Day
23rd of May 2016-World Turtle Day
Time: 10η pm
Area: Adele, Rethymno, Crete
The ARCHELON program in Crete has just begun. Α team of volunteers from countries neighboring Greece, as well as other continents, have just started to arrive to their destinations in Crete. They all have a similar goal: to protect the turtles which have lived in the Greek-Cretan seas for thousands of years.
The first mating information regarding this seasons Caretta Caretta sea turtles originated from a hotel near the beach in Skaleta, Rethymno—which gave us the greatest interest in the project. A few days later, the first turtle track we found proved that they inhabited the island and are waiting for the best conditions to create a nest and lay their eggs.
The beginning of the season has officially started with the exciting and anticipated discovery of the first nest in Adele, Crete on 23 May, 2016-the world Turtle Day—which is a cause for celebration amongst locals, tourists, and ARCHELON volunteers.
The daily routine of sea turtle monitoring begins at 5:30am with the morning surveys of the nesting beaches and ends late at night after a long day of sharing gathered information about the sea turtles, in the hope that the general population will learn about the protected species and why they should be protected.
Because of the unmatched beauty of Crete, increased tourism has put a strain on the local beaches. The unsustainable treatment of the tourist beaches has unfortunately degraded the pristine nesting habitats. Despite this degradation, there is still hope in restoring the region. The yearly presence of the sea turtles show that the beaches are still healthy and that there is still plenty of optimism that humans can change the destructive patterns seen in the past. For this reason, we see that the symbiotic sharing of the beaches between the nesting turtles and relaxing family vacations is entirely possible.
With the discovery of the first nest, ARCHELON reminds to everyone who utilize the beaches for personal or business use, to apply the correct measures for keeping the beaches healthy.
- Clean up the sand beds to increase the available space for the turtles to nest
- Turn off the lights at the beaches and keep the area quiet at night
- Avoid the washing of beach furniture on the beaches to avoid excess water in the nest, as well as not raking the sand to avoid losing the turtle tracks
- Avoid using vehicles on the beaches
- Clean the beaches by hand
The presence of the nesting sea turtles on the beach is an honor to us. Therefore, we should make sure the beaches are more accessible to the turtles. In addition, we should show respect to the natural beauty of the beaches and preserve the unique ecosystem of Crete.
All the volunteers of ARCHELON in Crete wish you a good nesting season—with a greater number of sea turtles and hatchlings and a more knowledgeable approach to community action.
For more information: Nikolopoulou Athanasia, Project Officer of ARCHELON in Crete, 6937352379