Sporadic nests of sea turtles are important
One of the special features of this summer is the great interest of the public for the sporadic nests of sea turtle that are made in different parts of the Greek coastline, from the south i.e. Rhodes, Sitia, Naxos, Paros to Corfu, Volos and Epanomi in the north of Greece.
Attica, the region with Athens, the Greek capital, was one of the surprises on the lists of locations this year, with 3 nests recorded in the Porto Rafti-Avlaki area, and one in Anavyssos. "It is not completely unusual to find a nest in Attica, it is something that has happened again in recent years," says Panagiota Theodorou, Coordinator of legal and institutional issues at ARCHELON. "The sporadic appearance of individual sea turtle nests in various parts of Greece is common due to the country's extensive coastline," she continues.
So what does sporadic sea turtle nesting mean?
It is known that sea turtles are migratory animals, which travel very long distances. In terms of their reproduction, however, two types of behaviors have been observed. One, the most common, is characterized by "philopatry", i.e. upon sexual maturity the adult female turtles return to the site where they were hatched, to make their own nests. The second is less common and is observed when, during their travels, they find themselves in the need to lay their eggs on a nearby beach. This is the phenomenon of "sporadic nesting", which leads us to locate some nests of sea turtles on beaches where no significant nesting is observed every year.
There is no evidence yet to suggest a link between sporadic nesting and observed climate change, but sporadic nests in various places may prove to be a survival mechanism in the face of changes in sea level and temperature. This means that in 15-20 years, some of these turtles may survive and return as female adults to nest in these sites. Researchers claim that the chances of a sea turtle reaching adulthood range from 1 in 1,000 to 1 in 10,000.
So each nest can be important for the future survival of sea turtles in a changing climate. That is why nest information that any citizen might have is valuable for the survival of sea turtles. "ARCHELON systematically records the nests that are reported every year in various places, either when a sea turtle comes out on the beach or when the little turtles appear" says Dimitris Fytilis, manager of the ARCHELON Sea Turtle Rescue Center.
Ten days after baby turtles hatched from their nests in Attica, a small ARCHELON team performed the excavations of the nests and found out the percentage of eggs that hatched successfully.
"The public excavations were a great opportunity to meet with the citizens and the Coast Guards who cared for the nests in Attica. They were able to see the results of their efforts and in one case to watch one last hatchling on its way to the sea. We thank them warmly as well as all those who have contacted us with nest records from various parts of Greece, where unfortunately we will not be able to go "continues Dimitris.
If anyone sees a sea turtle or turtle tracks or nest or turtles on the shore, they can contact ARCHELON at 6941 511 511 or firstname.lastname@example.org, to receive the appropriate / necessary instructions on how they can help .
The Sea Turtle Rescue Center of ARCHELON in the 3rd Marina of Glyfada is open for public visits and the current protection measures are applied to prevent the spread of COVID-19. See how you can organize your visit at https://www.archelon.gr/eng/help11.php?mid=1&mid2=96