Here in Chania, we are coming to the end of our first full season of cooperation with ISKA (The International Society of the Kissamoss Area) – a group of foreign people (mainly English) who have retired or relocated to Crete.
ISKA were approached in the summer of 2009 to help protect the beach near Kolimbari. From the beginning of August 2009, ISKA protected around 10 nests, ensuring hundreds of baby turtles found their way into the sea – many of these would have ended up disorientated and walking on the road that backs a significant part of this beach.
This year we were able to do much more. As they were able to start work on the beach much earlier this year (On the 29th of May, the first turtle nest on Crete was laid on the “ISKA beach”!), they were able to ensure nests were protected right from when they were first laid. In total, 27 volunteers from ISKA helped through the season, most walked the beach in the morning, these split up into groups and each group took one day of the week. Other volunteers also decided they would do the ‘evening’ work – mainly erecting the shading around the nests to block out the light, and guide the hatchlings to the sea.
Although the season had a slow start, ISKA were eventually able to protect 17 nests in total, and so far, over 1000 baby turtles have made their way to sea.
As Archelon lacked the finances to run a car in Chania this year, the help from this organisation meant that these nests did not go unprotected. A great number of baby turtles would have not made it to the sea without ISKA’s help.
The ISKA members have also been very generous to the Chania volunteers this season, they have donated a great number of things such as tents, bicycles, tools, chairs, tarpaulin, vegetables and even the occasional hot shower!
Thank you very much ISKA!
John Conlin Maria Stravaridou
Monitoring Field Leader – Chania Crete Project Leader
For more information about ISKA, visit their website: www.iska.gr