Joanne, whatʼs new at the Rescue Centre?
Our volunteer at the Rescue Centre Joanne Stournara updates us on the events of the week between 13th July and 19th July 2012.
The number of turtles which have recovered their health and which can be released is encouraging. On 18th July, ʽThessalia,ʼ who had been sent to the RC in September from Volos with a head injury, was released back into the sea from Legrena Beach. Our best wishes went with her. ʽEleftheria,ʼ who had been sent to the RC in August from Preveza and has been recovering well, was moved into the now-vacant big outdoor tank in preparation for her release in the near future.
Three other turtles (ʽNicholas,ʼ ʽOlympiaʼ and ʽThanosʼ) whose release by boat had to be postponed due to weather conditions, will be released as soon as possible. More news on them next week.
ʽMichaelaʼ and ʽCassandraʼ have both started eating on their own, which is a very positive sign that they are recovering their health. ʽAmalia,ʼ who had arrived at the RC last week with an obvious line ingestion, was X-rayed and found to also have ingested a hook. Itʼs too early to tell whether the hook will be removed surgically or not. ʽTheodoulos,ʼ who had been found last week swimming around the port of Piraeus, was found to be hook-free. Since his parasite infestation has been cleared up and he has no other problems, he is expected to be released soon.
ʽPavloʼ, the turtle from Arta who had been tortured, has managed to survive! Seeing him paddling around at the top of his tank gives us hope because it indicates that he is strong, but at the same time the uncertainty about the extent of damage which he may have suffered and what the future may hold for him is a cause of great anxiety to us all.
Visits from groups of US students in the People to People Ambassador Program are almost at an end. Many of the students come from areas in the US where sea turtles nest and live, and were interested in the information which they got at ARCHELON about turtles and the difficulties they face. Many thanks to all of them for their help at the RC and for their support of ARCHELON. It was a pleasure meeting and talking with all you guys! Hopefully, some will return in the future to work as ARCHELON volunteers.
Did you know...
There are eight species of sea turtles in the world today. No matter what the species is, no matter which sea or ocean they live in, and no matter where they nest, they are all in danger of extinction. Natureʼs system of checks and balances which has been functioning flawlessly for millions of years to keep the numbers of sea turtles at a sustainable level has been upset by human factors, including habitat destruction, irresponsible fishing techniques, and sea pollution. As a result, the number of sea turtles which survive to the age where they can reproduce is being diminished, which means that in several decades, there will be no adult turtles left, i.e. the species will be extinct.