How to help
Tag your memories project
Individual identification of animals is a very valuable tool in wildlife research. Marine turtles can be individually identified by using external or internal tags. The external tags, made of metal or plastic, are applied to the turtle’s flippers and bear a number and a return address. Researchers in nesting areas can draw important reproductive data by recording tag numbers. Questions like how many clutches turtles deposit in a nesting season, how often they nest and how far they go after their nesting, can be answered through a reliable long-term tagging program.
ARCHELON researchers started to flipper-tag turtles in 1982 at the two most turtle-frequented nesting areas of loggerhead turtles in Greece, namely Zakynthos and southern Kyparissia Bay. Later, tagging was expanded in the nesting areas of Lakonikos Bay and Rethymno. Very important results were produced by these long-term projects. A major outcome has been that turtles, after their nesting in Greece, migrate to far away foraging areas like Gulf of Gabès in Tunisia and northern Adriatic Sea where they may stay for 2-3 years before their next reproductive migration to the nesting areas in Greece.
Flipper tags have a major disadvantage; they shed off easily from turtles. In addition, plastic tags tend to get entangled in fishing gear and this may put in danger the turtle’s life. For this reason, in the last few years a new tagging method was introduced by ARCHELON in Kyparissia Bay: PIT tagging (from Passive Integrated Transponder). PIT tags are internal tags inserted in the tissue at the turtle’s shoulder and can stay permanently on turtles. They can be read by using a special scanner which “sees” the PIT-tag code. The need of a scanner renders necessary the parallel use of an external tag in order to allow identification of the turtle in the absence of a scanner.
For the above reasons, ARCHELON decided since 2014 to stop the use of plastic tags in its projects. Now we use only metal tags and hope to generate the necessary funds in order to expand the use of PIT tags which are much more expensive than flipper tags. This is the reason of this campaign, through which we expect to raise 10,000 Euros necessary to purchase about 2,000 PIT tags and 25 scanners.
Get a "unique" souvenir from ARCHELON and support our efforts! With 10 € we will send you your own flipper tag with the worldwide unique code and Authenticity Card. Every year on ARCHELON’s birthday (20 Nov.), there will be a raffle and the lucky code will win a free volunteer participation in Zakynthos project.
So, tag your volunteer’s memories, by completing the form HERE.
Thank you for your contribution!