The Lakonikos project was successfully completed
The nesting of sea turtles on the beaches at Lakonikos bay was noted for the first time in 1982. After this finding, the systematic monitoring of the nests on the nesting beaches of Mavrovouni, Vathi, Selinitsa, Valtaki, and Evrota began. Last summer, the Information Station in Mavrovouni, near Gythio, operated with the volunteers/researchers of ARCHELON.
Tanya Narshi, William Michel, and Hania Bendib were the field leaders who trained and coordinated the volunteers in the Lakonikos bay project this year. The team recorded and protected about 428 sea turtle nests and informed approximately 3,000 visitors about the reproduction and conservation of sea turtles.
“I would like to thank all the field Leaders and volunteers who took part in the sea turtle conservation project this summer. It's not easy to walk so many kilometers every day in high temperatures, but they made it by being dedicated to protecting the environment and for that, they deserve a big thumbs up", says Thanos Michailidis, the South Peloponnese Project Officer of ARCHELON. "I am grateful for the help we received this year from local businesses and the Municipality of Eastern Mani for providing storage space. We also appreciate the continuous support from Tassos Mandalas, Tassos Mandalas, Theodoros Mandalas, and Sotiris Mandalas" he adds.
The situation was relatively good on most nesting beaches and especially on Evrotas, where there was an increase in nests recorded compared to last year. However, the destruction of the sand dunes observed at Mavrovouni beach seemed disappointing due to the installation of pipelines for the biological waste cleaning at Gytheio. The destruction of the sea turtle nesting beaches continued by placing cement and gravel over the pipes. "The cars were using the upper part of the nesting beach in Mavrovouni where an illegal road had been made in previous years as well as the damaged part of the sand dunes as an extension of the road. This had as a result the increase of the degradation of the sand dunes,"says Thanos Michailidis. "'All sea turtle nesting beaches in Lakonikos have been included in the European Natura 2000 site network. Habitat degradation such as the one in Mavrovouni must be avoided and both the authorities and the construction contractors must take care when public works are realized on these beaches”, he adds.
Back in Athens, at the offices of ARCHELON, preparations have already begun for the sea turtle protection projects in 2023 and the volunteer applications have begun.
If you would also like to become a volunteer and protect the baby turtles in Lakonikos bay apply here.