The first hatchlings of 2015 are from Crete
As moving as it may be, that moment when you find the first turtle nest, it canʼt be compared to the moment you witness the first hatchlings rising. The date for the first hatchlings has been recorded as the 15th July in Kalamaki, Messara Gulf, Crete.
This is the third continuous year the first hatchlings make their appearance in Crete. Sea turtles love this place and it is their number one destination at the beginning of nesting period, so, this place has to return the love.
As soon as they come to the surface, the small but very strong warriors of just 6 centimeters begin their journey to reach the sea, they exercise their flippers, making them strong enough to swim fast for the moment they hit the water, whilst trying to avoid all the dangers.
Natural hazards however are inevitable. Manʼs intrusion is among the most important ones and itʼs in our hand to change that. Crete is one of the most difficult places for nesting season due to mass tourism and beach deterioration.
For those two reasons it is imperative that we take measures to manage better and protect the beaches and by extension the sea turtle nests and hatchlings.
Now that our little friends have made their appearance there are some simple instructions all of us can follow to protect this rare species and contribute to its continuation
Do not touch the hatchlings. The journey from nest to sea is vital for them since it is the only way they can store information about the beach they were born in.
If you spot any hatchlings during the day, protect them by the scorching sun by providing shade with your body. You can also level the sand in front of them to facilitate their route. Call the ARCHELON researchers immediately.
Avoid moving around protective cages. Motion and quaking around the nest may cause an early exit for the hatchlings.
If you notice any lights pointing to the sea, ask the owners to turn them off because they disorient the hatchlings. Remember, hatchlings detect the sea from the reflection of the moon and the stars in the horizon.
Soon enough program volunteers in Crete will start public excavations which will be open to the public. The excavations will be announced in the official Municipality websites as well as in ARCHELONʼs official facebook page.
This is the ideal opportunity to bring people closer to this rare wild species in its most innocent moment. The power of the image and personal contact is enormous and in this way we hope to spread ARCHELONʼs message as much as we can.
For more information: Nikolopoulou Athanasia – Program Coordinator in Crete tel. +30 6937 352 379.
(translation: Grayfallia Liepouri)