The season starts officially May 26 when ARCHELON’ s wildlife volunteers conservationists are finding the first sea turtle nest of the year 2009 on the coastal area of Sekania.
The Sekania beach hosts the largest concentration of caretta caretta nests in the Mediterranean, listing among the top three most densely nested beaches of the world!
The private property land behind the Sekania beach was bought in 1994 by WWF Hellas to protect it from the booming development. Nowadays, this area is the core of the National Marine Park of Zakynthos and under strict law regulations. More than 50% of the nests each summer are laid on the Sekania beach.
Nevertheless, the first nest, each year, is indeed a very important occasion for it signals the beginning of a remarkable and fascinating period when mature females come to land for reproduction. A female loggerhead sea turtle may travel thousands of miles to return to the beach she hatched as a baby to lay her own eggs as an adult.
ARCHELON has been methodically working in Zakynthos since 1983 collecting data on nesting, carrying out monitoring and management programs, beach surveillance and preservation activities and protecting the nests. Starting in 1987 until today we have also been conducting special projects to raise awareness and inform both the visitors and the local population about sea turtles.
Following the establishment of the National Marine Park of Zakynthos in 1999, ARCHELON cooperates closely with the Management Agency of the Park regarding, among others, the data collection and public awareness. ARCHELON, WWF Hellas and Mom are the environmental organizations active in the region and represented in the Agency Board.
The sea turtles caretta caretta come to Zakynthos from different parts of the Mediterranean Sea. Two of their major habitats are in the north Adriatic Sea and the Gabes Gulf in Tunisia. This is grounded in the reports of the turtles marked by ARCHELON and observed there. Sea Turtles start gathering from March or April in the Lagana Bay to mate and the females prepare for nesting.
The nesting level will rise in the following days, reaching its peak in the beginning of July and it will be completed until the mid of August.
The nesting biotope of caretta caretta in Zakynthos is of universal significance and its perseverance a decisive factor for the survival of this endangered species.
Each year the small hatchlings lessen our impact on the planet and enrich our relationship with nature and the beautiful world we share!