After training, comes the action!
This yearʼs Field Leader Training Seminar has been completed by ARCHELON with great success and the new season is ready to begin with volunteers and leaders prepared for action!
Young volunteers, mainly scientists and naturalists from Greece and abroad, every year undertake specific areas of each region and commit morally to remain for 5 months at the nesting beaches in order to monitor and protect the Caretta Caretta nesting on the most important nesting beaches of our country.
With the valuable help of Field Leaders and 470 volunteers in 2014, ARCHELON managed to monitor and protect the nesting beaches in Zakynthos, Kyparissiakos Bay and Neda, Koroni, Lakonikos Bay, Romanos, Rethymno, Chania and Messara Bay.
In these areas, an estimated of 2.945 nests were made (in 75 km of beach) and special protection measures were applied to 1.991 nests. During night survey, 632 adult turtles were observed. Due to the efforts of ARCHELONʼs volunteers, 129.517 hatchlings (from the 194.929 that hatched) were saved and safely reached the sea.
This year was the 9th time that the seminar has taken place and provided the opportunity for an exchange of views and knowledge between the Field Leaders and the executives of the Association. This yearʼs Field Leaders are experienced volunteers from the UK, Albania, Spain, Greece and Germany. Panagiota Theodorou and Regina Stefanatou were responsible for the program and proceedings of the seminar.
The FLTS has a goal to share among the Field Leaders the history, policy and ideological basis of ARCHELON, who they will be representing for a long period of time under difficult conditions. This information may be all theoretical, but basically has a practical impact on their work, since it offers a general overview of the organization, which they donʼt have a chance to see during the summer. It also presents many practical ways of working on the field in various issues (eg. conservation, particularities of the programs, volunteers, environmental education, communication, car management etc.).
Particularly important, was their communication with Board members, especially with Dimitris and Anna Margaritoulis, who established the Sea Turtle Protection Society 32 years ago, setting the basis of the largest environmental volunteer program in Greece.
Congratulations to all who helped in the preparation of this excellent event with major improvements compared to last year, new presentations by experienced volunteers (Rike, Jo, Sonia, Freya, Dino and Ana), additional time for monitoring training and workshops, teleconferencing, fundraising methods and public awareness.
Good luck on the field and have a great start!