ARCHELON,
the Sea Turtle Protection Society
of Greece

ARCHELON at a glimpse

Since 1983, the primary objective of the Sea Turtle Protection Society of Greece ARCHELON has been to protect the sea turtles and their habitats in Greece through monitoring and research, developing and implementing management plans, habitat restoration, raising public awareness and rehabilitating sick and injured turtles.

ARCHELON is a Partner to UNEP/Mediterranean Action Plan, a member of the European Environmental Bureau (EEB) and the European Union for the Conservation of the Coasts (EUCC). Members of ARCHELON participate in the IUCN/Marine Turtle Specialist Group and contribute to the formulation of the international strategy for the conservation of the sea turtles.

ARCHELON works closely with state agencies, the local authorities, institutions, other NGOs, fishermen and local inhabitants in order to mitigate and reverse population reduction of sea turtles. Certain projects are co-funded by the European Commission. Priority is given to the elaboration and implementation of integrated management plans in the major loggerhead nesting areas in Greece (Zakynthos, Bays of Kyparissia and Lakonikos, and Crete). On Zakynthos ARCHELON conducts its projects under an agreement with the National Marine Park. Pilot sand dune restoration projects have been carried out behind nesting beaches.

  • ARCHELON relies heavily on voluntary work. Every year over 400 volunteers from all over the world are invited to help with the work on the nesting beaches and the Rescue Centre.
  • Every summer the major nesting areas in Greece (Zakynthos, Peloponnesus and Crete), totalling about 75 kilometres are daily monitored.
  • Every year over 2,500 nests are protected from human threats, predation and sea inundation.
  • Nearly 4,000 turtles have been tagged in order to monitor their movements in the sea. Recently satellite transmitters have been used.
  • Over 50 injured or sick turtles are treated every year at the Rescue Centre at Glyfada (Athens).
  • Three permanent and 10 seasonal stations are operated by ARCHELON on Zakynthos, Peloponnesus and Crete.
  • About 200,000 tourists are directly contacted through ARCHELON's diverse programmes every year
  • Over 13,000 students participate every year in the educational programmes.
  • ARCHELON participates in four Management Agencies of protected areas (National Marine Park of Zakynthos, Amvrakikos Bay, Mesolonghi Lagoon and Strofylia-Kotychi Lagoons) where sea turtle habitats are found.

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