Gytheio, Greece

17°C / 22°C
17°C / 22°C

Caretta caretta

In the Laconian Gulf, an outstanding effort … fills us with hope
Its natural habitat becomes the physical hatchery of Caretta-Caretta sea turtles

In the velvet waters of the warm Laconian Gulf, a sensitive human effort concerning the environment and the fauna takes place quietly and discreetly.

ARCHELON, the non-governmental Sea Turtle Protection Society of Greece, which has 500 volunteers all over the country, has created a research post at Mavrovouni of Gytheio, inside the MELTEMI camping, since that region is the third site, by order of importance, where the turtles lay their eggs.

The organization is located at the beach with a great volunteer potential and a public information stand, aiming to assist the Caretta-Caretta sea turtles lay their eggs.

Often, during the night, something unique happens: the sea turtles come out on the beach and lay their eggs.

Useful tips to protect the turtles:

1. Keep the beaches clean (don’t leave plastic objects because the turtles swallow them, mistaking them for food)
2. Don’t dig out the nests. Sea turtles and their eggs are protected by the Greek legislation
3. Don’t move nest marks and protective covers
4. Don’t drive any vehicles on the beach
5. Don’t place umbrellas too close to the water, to avoid the destruction of nests that have not yet been spotted and marked
6. If you see an injured or dead sea turtle, call the Rescue Network at phone No. 210 8944444

The volunteers are there to help and protect those very ancient reptiles. They mark their nests so that swimmers do not destroy them and when the young turtles come out of the eggs, they lead them to the sea through special short routes.
The research post at Mavrovouni

The ARCHELON volunteers’ team is mobilized on the fantastic 3.8-km-long Mavrovouni beach, to protect the sea turtles. Fifteen volunteers from various countries come here to offer their services, supervised and guided by biologists. Most of the volunteers are not Greek. Here, for the first time, family volunteerism is promoted.

All the volunteers of the research post must be congratulated for their great devotion to their work. They especially deserve our moral and material support since their efforts are totally private, without any financial grant from the state.

If you come to Mavrovouni, enter the MELTEMI camping and visit the stand where you can obtain information and support the team by buying souvenirs. Your assistance will be greatly appreciated!

We can live together

Greece hosts approximately 60% of the total Caretta-Caretta turtles’ nests in the Mediterranean Sea. Every summer, from May till August, hundreds of female turtles return to the beaches where they were born; at night, they lay 80-120 fragile eggs and cover them by the warm sand. The eggs are hatched during 7-10 weeks and when the young turtles come out to the surface of the sand (usually at night, when it’s cool), they sluggishly move towards the sea.

Man plays an important role during this process. For young turtles to reach the open sea safely:

1. If you happen to be on the beach at night, stay away from the nests
2. Never light fires on the beach
3. Switch off or cover bright beach lights

I want to assist the ARCHELON Society activities
Find more information on the ARCHELON Society website