Our account of 2021
Upon New Year’s Eve of 2021, we had 20 turtles under treatment at the Sea Turtle Rescue Centre, which at the time was closed to the public and schools due to the pandemic. There was a lot of uncertainty regarding the outcome of our summer projects during the first months of the year, but, in the end everything turned out well.
More than 450 people personally contributed to our activities
- 63 volunteers from abroad contributed to sea turtle care and rehabilitation, as well as in raising public awareness, when lockdown ended. An additional 24 local volunteers, residents of Attica, supported part time the operations of the Rescue Centre.
- 330 volunteers from all over the world contributed to the monitoring and protection of nests and in raising public awareness on the nesting beaches of the loggerhead sea turtles. Local volunteers also helped with monitoring in Chania, Messara bay, Messinia, southern and eastern Laconia and Kefalonia.
- Administration, management and coordination duties were performed by 10 members of staff, with the support of external contractors on various issues. About 15 people - ARCHELON members- offered their expertise and voluntary service as members of the Board of Directors, Committees and Working groups.
- The selection and training of field leaders and that of volunteers in the sectors of sea turtle monitoring, conservation, rescue, care and rehabilitation, as well as on communication and fund raising, was carried out throughout the year.
- More than 90 students from 25 educational institutions were accepted for internships at the Rescue Centre and the field projects in 2021.
The ARCHELON Sea Turtle Rescue Centre in Glyfada operated all year round
78 injured or sick turtles were taken care of, out of which 20 came from previous years and 58 arrived at the Rescue Centre in 2021. 34 rehabilitated turtles returned safely to sea. Unfortunately 15 turtles died, while the remaining 29 are still under treatment.
Live online tours of the Rescue Centre became a reality for 178 school units from all over Greece. After the lockdown was withdrawn, we welcomed 75 school units from Attica in the Environmental Education Program of the Rescue Centre.
- An estimated 5,079 visitors of the Rescue Centre were informed about the conservation of sea turtles and their habitats. An additional 317 people participated in the private 45-minute Sea Turtle Rescue Tour, which aims at small groups willing to adopt an injured turtle.
The first short adventure film was shot at the Rescue Centre by a group of children from the 3rd High School of Argyroupolis, with the support of the Olympia International Festival for Children and Young people.
Citizens' reports of sea turtle strandings as well as of sporadic nests throughout coastal Greece, provided data on more than 1,000 verified cases of sea turtle strandings, in collaboration with the Coast Guard.
Similarly, almost 100 sporadic loggerhead nests were reported in various parts of the Greek coastline, and were consequently protected following the instructions of ARCHELON.
About 7,200 nests were recorded and adequately protected on a total of 137 km of nesting beaches, which were systematically surveyed.
- The monitoring and conservation of nesting of the loggerheads was completed for the 38th consecutive year, with the assistance of volunteers / researchers in the areas: Zakynthos (National Marine Park), Kyparissiakos Bay (Nature Protection Area), Kotychi, Kefalonia, southern Peloponnese (Romanos, Koroni, Laconikos bay, South East Laconia) and Crete (Rethymno, Chania, Messara).
- About 30,250 visitors were informed about sea turtle nesting and conservation through the operation of information stations and presentations in tourist accommodations, carried out by the volunteers.
- You can see the Conservation reports from the projects of Zakynthos and Kyparissia bay for 2021.
- Tourists returned to the beaches for summer holidays and with them sun umbrellas and sunbeds returned as well. Their numbers did not reach pre-pandemic levels, but they were not negligible. We thank all the beach businesses which removed their beach furniture every evening in Zakynthos, the Peloponnese and Crete.
The Amvrakikos sea turtle population monitoring project continued with a total of 299 captures
The Life EUROTURTLES project was completed in collaboration with organizations from 7 Mediterranean countries of the European Union
- The National Action Plan for the loggerhead sea turtle, compiled by ARCHELON in 2019, was approved by Ministerial Decision.
We would not have made it without you
The opportunity to continue our work in these difficult financial circumstances, was provided by the grants from the Green Fund of the Ministry of Environment, the Natural Environment & Climate Change Agency, as well as significant donations from the MAVA Foundation, the TUI Care Foundation and the Stavros Niarchos Foundation.
In addition, dozens of companies offered donations, or their products and services for free and people who visited ARCHELON's projects all year long supported us with purchases, donations and "adoptions" of sea turtles, enabling us to lead our projects to their completion.
From the bottom of our hearts we wish to thank our volunteers, who not only gave time and energy but also effectively adhered to the protection measures against COVID-19 in the projects, as well as all those who helped us during 2021 in any way.