Our account of 2019

More than 750 people contributed to our actions

  • Five hundred and eighty-seven (587) volunteers participated in field conservation projects, including the field leaders. Most of them were from the UK, France and Germany and about 15% of the 2019 volunteers came from Greece.
  • One hundred and forty-nine (149) volunteers supported the operation of the rescue network, care and environmental treatment at the Rescue Center throughout the year. Of these, 62 were local volunteers, residents of Attica, while 87 volunteers came from different countries.
  • The selection and training of field leaders and the rest of the volunteers in sea turtle monitoring, conservation, rescue, care and rehabilitation, communication and fund raising has been a year round activity of ARCHELON. More than 70 internships from 25 educational institutions were accepted in the 2019 projects.
  • Administration, management and coordination duties were performed by 16 members of staff, while about 16 people - ARCHELON members- offered their expertise and voluntary services as members of the Board of Directors, the different Committees and Working groups.

The protection, recording and rescue of sea turtles continued successfully

  • Approximately 6400 nests of loggerhead turtles were recorded in the 134 km of coastline surveyed. Protection measures under specific scientific protocols were implemented for almost 65% of them.
  • A green turtle nesting in Messara, Crete was observed for the first time! About 690 adult loggerhead females were tagged or found tagged during ARCHERLON’s night surveys on nesting beaches.
  • 113 sea turtles were tagged for the first time in the Amvrakikos feeding grounds.
  • The total number of turtles taken care of at the Rescue Center was 83, out of which 26 had arrived in previous years. There were 57 new arrivals in 2019: 43 turtles were rehabilitated and returned back to the sea, 23 turtles died unfortunately and 17 remained under treatment.
  • The recording of sea turtle strandings continued at a national scale, in collaboration with the Coastal Guard and other environmental organizations.
  • Monitoring of threats at sea, on the nesting beaches and coastal habitats continued in all field projects. This information was disseminated to the authorities and local communities in order to remove or stop any illegal activities and harassment.
  • New data collection activities were designed and novel monitoring techniques were implemented for sea turtles at sea, through satellite tags and the use of drones.

More information, awareness and collaboration

  • More than 112.000 people received information about sea turtles during ARCHELON’s projects on nesting beaches. The information kiosks on Zakynthos, Crete and the Peloponnese were operated by the project volunteers.
  • A total of 10.000 visitors reached the Rescue Center and received information by volunteers or in special guided tours, throughout the year.
  • More than 11.000 students with their teachers attended 300 presentations of the Environmental Education Program for Schools, at the Rescue Centre, during the 2017- 2018 school year.
  • Serious concerns were expressed by ARCHELON for the ever increasing numbers of big and small boats performing “sea turtle spotting trips” and for the violations of protective measures in the marine area of Laganas bay on Zakynthos. There is evidence that this activity in Laganas bay results in disturbance, stress, injuries and deaths of sea turtles in a protected area. On Zakynthos, we carried out the project in collaboration with the National Marine Park and local businesses that comply with the regulations.
  • In Kyparissia project, ARCHELON continued to inform the local authorities for the implementation of the legislation with regard to the Nature Protection Area established in 2018.
  • We worked together with the Region of Crete, the Environmental authorities and the tourist sector to achieve better implementation of management measures in the nesting beaches of Crete.
  • Information was targeted to the public and the authorities around the nesting beaches of Lakonikos and Koroni, in order to enhance the implementation of existing protection measures.
  • Our efforts for communication and collaboration with local groups and fishermen for the protection of nests and sea turtle rescue in other areas were intensified.
  • We organized 4 Sea turtle Rescue Workshops with the participation of the Coastal Guards and fishermen, in the Cyclades islands
  • Beach cleaning parties and a specific communication campaign for less plastic at sea were organized with ARCHELON volunteers in all project areas.
  • ARCHELON organized the annual meeting of the Life Euroturtles partners in Glyfada and welcomed the participants at the Rescue Centre as well as in the release of two rehabilitated turtles back to the sea.


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