Joanne, whatʼs new at the Rescue Centre in April 2015?
Our volunteer at the Rescue Centre Joanne Stournara updates us on the events from 1 - 30 April 2015.
Number of turtles currently being treated: 25
We are happy to report that more and more local residents are joining the Rescue Centre as Day Volunteers! This is very important because they are needed to replace previous local volunteers who left because THEY FOUND JOBS! We hope that our new volunteers will be as fortunate! In any case, volunteer help is always appreciated, especially now, as we prepare for the (unfortunately) always busy summer season with its higher numbers of injured turtles needing treatment.
We are always happy to have Greek-speaking volunteers to give tours to RC visitors on Saturdays and Sundays. If you would like to help, please contact Pavlos Tsaros (210 89 44 444, 6941 511 511).
Many of the turtles who spent the winter getting treatment here at the RC are now doing well and will be candidates for release as soon as weather conditions permit. At the time of this writing, the six outdoor tanks are being prepared for the turtles who will be released first. According to RC protocol, candidates for release are moved into the large outdoor tanks where they are monitored for about two weeks in order to see if they are well enough to make it on their own once again in the sea. Volunteers monitor their behaviour systematically to be sure that they can dive and surface properly, that they can find and eat food from the bottom of the tank, and that their swimming, diving and resting behaviour is normal. Usually, each year the first turtle is released on International Turtle Day, 23 May. This year, ʽChristianaʼ will be the lucky one. ʽChristianaʼ, arrived on 8 January 2015 with no visible injuries (she was possibly suffering from hypothermia) from Corfu.
Other turtles who have been moved outdoors and are awaiting to be returned to the sea are:
ʽNikosʼ, who arrived at the RC on 30 March 2013 from Chios with a head injury, has greatly improved and has been placed in a large outdoor tank to help his recovery. If all goes well, he may be released this year. Iʼm sure that all the volunteers who have cared for this turtle since his arrival are happy to hear this good news!
ʽYiannisʼ, who came to the RC in January 2015 from Samos with an ingested hook, has recovered well from his surgery and is waiting to be released.
ʽAristidisʼ was brought to the RC from the nearby Alimou Marina on 21 December 2014. He was suffering from hypothermia and has recovered his health.
ʽAchiliaʼ, who came to the RC on 19 October 2014 from Corfu with a head injury, is now well and ready to be released.
ʽBarisʼ, a Caretta caretta weighing 33 kilos and whose carapace measures 71.5 cm, arrived on 8 April from Corinth, where she had been found and named by two members of the port police, Babis and Paris. The turtle has no visible injuries and may be suffering from hypothermia.
ʽLeslieʼ, a tiny loggerhead weighing just 960 grams, came from Hydra on 27 April, where the port police found her swimming on the surface near the shore. She had no visible injuries, eats very well, and is scheduled to be returned to the sea very soon.
We are glad to report that there were no turtle deaths at the RC during April. However, unfortunately, ʽMyrsiniʼ, one of the turtles who had been treated for a missing flipper in 2014 and released by boat into the Saronic Bay in September of that same year, was found dead in Salamina. She was in good physical condition and seemed to have been eating well, but a large amount of PLASTICS were found in her intestine. (For articles about the dangers of plastic, see the Facebook pages for ARCHELON Rescue Center and the main ARCHELON page.)
On Sunday, 25 April 2015, ARCHELON volunteers participated in the ʽLetʼs Do It Greeceʼ campaign by cleaning up the beach next to the RC here at the 3rd Marina. A huge amount of plastic items – straws, cups, bottles – and other things, including trash left by people who camped illegally on the beach. For more information, see the separate article on the website. http://www.archelon.gr/eng/ournews.php?row=row10&nid=726
Did you know?
According to recent research, many tens of thousands of sea turtles are reported dead each year as a result of interaction with longline fishing. Turtles are often hooked on these longlines and drown because they cannot swim to the surface to breathe. (We are happy to report that Greek fishermen do not have the type of boat/equipment needed for this type of fishing.) There are many articles on the internet about this problem, for example, the 2008 article Bycatch of loggerhead sea turtles: insights from 14 years of stranding data by Jesús Tomás, Patricia Gozalbes, Juan Antonio Raga, Brendan J. Godley www.int-res.com/articles/esr2008/5/n005p161.pdf.