At the HELECOS 10 Conference: ARCHELON presented the trends in numbers of loggerhead nests in the wider Romanos area of Messinia
Costas Teneketzis, researcher of ARCHELON, made an oral presentation in the section "Marine Ecology" on the subject of increasing nesting of the loggerhead sea turtle in the wider area of Romanos (western Messinia) in the 10th Pan-Hellenic Ecology Conference HELECOS 10 "Ecology and nature conservation: progress and challenges in times of crisis".
The Conference was organized online during 14-17 October 2021, with John Halley, University of Ioannina, as Chairman of the Organizing Committee and members from the teaching and scientific staff of the Biology Departments of the Universities of Ioannina, Athens, Thessaloniki, Cyprus and the International University of Greece.
Romanos beach, which is 2.7km long, is the main nesting beach in the area while the beaches of Mytika-Glyfadaki-Petrochori, Agios Nikolaos, Almyrolakka, Voidokilia, with a total length of about 2km, present scattered nesting. It is noted that all the above beaches are located within the area GR2550004 of the NATURA 2000 network named "Pylos Lagoon (Divari) and Sfaktiria island, Agios Dimitrios"
Romanos beach has been systematically monitored since 2009, while the southern beaches since 2011. Based on the data of the decade 2011-2020, the annual average of nests in the whole area is 46.7 nests, with intense annual variation, and average density 9.9 nests / km. Romanos beach accounts for 60.2% while the other beaches (south of Romanos) account for 39.8% of all nests in the area.
In both sub-areas the annual number of nests shows a statistically significant upward trend in the decade 2011-2020 and the main demographic data of turtles are similar. Particular interest was found in the variation of the incubation duration of the eggs, which appears increased on the southern beaches. There is therefore the possibility of more male hatchlings emerging from these beaches, which is of great importance in view of the large increase in female hatchlings from the general rise in sand temperatures due to the climate crisis.
A similar spatial differentiation is observed in Zakynthos, where although the majority of hatchlings are female, in some beaches males are systematically hatched.
ARCHELON and the authors of this scientific presentation thank T.E.MES. SA, the development agency of the Integrated Touristic Development Area of Messinia, for its cooperation and ongoing support as well as the volunteers who helped carry out the project of Romanos.
See the relevant abstract in HELECOS 10 here.