The first Caretta caretta nest for 2018 in the southern Kyparissia Gulf habitat was spotted by ARCHELON volunteers in the early hours on Sunday May 13th, near Vounaki. Nesting started a few days earlier this year, compared to previous years, with the turtles returning every year to the beach they hatched from many years ago.
The sourthern Kyparissia Gulf habitat, with its natural sand dunes, is home to a staggering number of Caretta caretta nests annually, the second highest in Greece and the Mediterranean through the years. This unique coastal ecosystem continues in the northern part of the Gulf and in the wetlands of Kotychi and Strofylia forest.
ARCHELON has been systematically active in the southern Kyparissiakos region since 1984, collecting scientific data on nesting and protecting the nests and the Caretta caretta hatchlings. Our cooperation with the Kotychi, Strofylia and Kyparissiakos Gulf Wetland Management Agency has already begun, aiming towards sustainable development and the protection of nature.
Apart from the pleasant feeling it created, the first nest in the Kyparissiakos Gulf has also created the need for increased attention at the nesting beach and behind it. Visitors, and businessmen that work in the area, should remember that the presence of heavy duty and/or wheeled vehicles on nesting beaches, the use of plastic bags and the lighting of fires in the forest and on the beach can have devastating consequences on coastal ecosystems as a whole, and specifically on sea turtles.
Kotychi, Strofylia and Kyparissiakos Gulf Wetland Management Agency, Vasiliki Orfanou, Biologist FD, tel: 2693031939
ARCELON, Sevasti Kapota, West Peloponnese Program Coordinator, tel: 6932285817
(translation: Danai Kyriaki)