On the very early hours of Monday, May 22nd, during morning survey, the volunteers of ARCEHLON located the first Caretta caretta nest in Kyparissiakos bay and more specifically near the Vounaki area.
For the past 2 weeks, dozens of volunteers, Greeks and foreigners, have arrived on the field research programs in the nesting beaches of Caretta caretta all around Greece. Specially in the Kyparissiakos bay, more than 100 volunteers are coming every year for this aim!
Having in our minds this very first nest as well as our daily interaction with dozens of school children who take part in ARCHELON's educational program at Agiannakis Environmental Station, we wondered: are these pine trees that make up the beautiful forest of the Elaia just trees? Are the thorny plants that grow on the back of the beach and create dunes just useless plants? Is Kyparissiakos bay just a beach that the people use one month every year during the summer?
Did you know that this forest not only produces the necessary oxygen for life itself but also absorbs various gaseous pollutants, affects the microclimate of the area we live in and also mitigates the extreme weather phenomena? Did you know that these various plants in the sand dunes protect the beach from erosion while at the same time act as a protective barrier for the forest and the salty sea water? Have you ever been to these ecosystems during August and September in the afternoon? Have you ever smelled the ambrosial aroma emerging from the ground? This is the sea daffodil, scientifically known as Pancratium maritimum, and is one of the species the lives in the sand dunes and is threatened by the large and unregulated touristic development. This plant was considered sacred in antiquity and it is usually depicted in old frescoes of the ancient palaces of Knossos. On the other hand, did you know that this beach provides the necessary space for the basic process of reproduction of the sea turtle Caretta caretta and consists the incubation area of thousands of hatchlings every year?
For the protection of this uniquw area, let us limit the use of our vehicles to the streets and not on the beaches, let us not throw our waste carelessly, let us not make campfires in the forest and on the beach. It is also important to not leave our beach furniture and other belongings behind when we leave the beach at night. Let us not further restrict the available nesting space of the Caretta caretta!
As the nesting season begins, ARCHELON team wishes everyone a good summer, hoping to meet you all during our public awareness activities or on the field at the beach!
Information: Polymnia Nestoridou, Project Officer - Peloponnese Program – tel.: 6951009785