Συλλόγου για την Προστασία της Θαλάσσιας Χελώνας, ΑΡΧΕΛΩΝ

 

Rescue Network

First Aid Station at Amvrakikos Bay

The methodical work of research groups has marked out the value of Amvrakikos Bay as a unique complex of ecosystems, important for the flora and fauna at an international level. Amongst other things, in the latter years the presence of sea turtles (Caretta caretta) was demonstrated; although these turtles nest in different beaches of Greece (Zakynthos, Kyparissia, Kefallonia and others) they use the Amvrakikos area to forage and over winter. In 2002 and 2003 ARCHELON initiated the first field research in Amvrakikos Bay in order to place satellite transmitters on turtles swimming in the area.

ARCHELON, recognizing the importance of the presence of turtles undertakes various activities both for their study and the sensitization of citizens. More specifically, Amvrakikos Bay is the only area in Greece where we have systematic use of satellite transmitters and special tags on turtles, in order to comprehend their movements in the marine environment far away from their nesting beaches. In 2005 alone over 100 turtles were located and tagged, many of which were "recaptures" form previous research projects. The information we can gather from this programme is unique in Greece. Furthermore, co-operations with coastal fishermen and fishing societies have developed, aiming at the recording of damages caused by incidental entanglements of turtles in fishing gear and the proposal of solutions for the support of fishermen.

The frequent observations of injured turtles, plus the great distance from the only Sea Turtle Rescue Centre in Greece (Glyfada of Attiki) constituted the motive for the creation of a First Aid Station in the area. The Station was created in the context of the Community Programme LIFE Nature and is housed in the Centre of Environmental Education of Arachthos, in Koprena of Arta. In co-operation with the Centre, many shows for public awareness are taking place, such as releases of rehabilitated turtles, slide and video presentations etc.

First Aid Station in Pagalohori of Rethymno (Crete)

ARCHELON in co-operation with the Municipality of Arkadi and in the context of LIFE Nature project, which aims at the reduction of mortality of sea turtles in the Mediterranean, undertook the creation of a First Aid Station for injured turtles in Crete as well. The area is considered a "hot spot", because of the number of stranding sea turtles washed ashore dead or injured.

The area chosen is Pagalohori at the town Arkadi because of its proximity to the most important nesting beach of Crete, one of the most significant in the Mediterranean.

The old and abandoned school of Pagalohori was given to the Society by the Municipality of Arkadi, which also undertook the greatest part of the restoration works, thus demonstrating practically its interest in the sea turtle.

The saving of sea turtles requires the participation of active citizens. For this reason ARCHELON has formed "Life Network", a group of volunteers activated over the entire coastal country for recording of information relevant to sea turtles.