Animals & Wildlife Magazine

New Greece Sea Turtles Conservation Project

By Frontiergap @FrontierGap

One of Frontier’s newest projects is the Greece Sea Turtle Conservation project on the Mediterranean Coast. Loggerhead Turtles numbers are in decline globally, and especially in the coastal areas that they frequent to breed. The reason for the decline in numbers is primarily attributed to trawling, egg laying in the wrong places, coastal development and increased human use of nesting beaches.Often the things that kill a large number of turtles such as becoming trapped in fishing nets or eating plastic bags and Styrofoam pieces are out of our control; but volunteers in Greece will be able to directly help a proportion of the Loggerhead Turtles have a trouble free start to life.

New Greece Sea Turtles Conservation project

Image courtesy of Frontier's Greece Sea Turtles Conservation project

The project is based at an important breeding point on the Peloponnese coast alongside researchers who have been monitoring the area since 1983, and works with state agencies, local authorities and local fishermen to reverse the population reduction of sea turtles. Because sea turtles return to the same nesting beaches and need a specific and undisturbed environment in order to lay, and then hatch their eggs, the volunteer’s presence and work is vitally important.

New Greece Sea Turtles Conservation project

Image courtesy of Frontier's Greece Sea Turtles Conservation project

This project offers a chance to work closely with sea turtles whilst living in stunning surroundings. While not on a shift monitoring the turtles, volunteers will have the opportunity to enjoy the facilities that the campsite offers, such as a restaurant, internet and telephone; but will also have the chance to experience Greek culture.

New Greece Sea Turtles Conservation project

Image courtesy of Frontier's Greece Sea Turtles Conservation project

Living in tents right next to the beach, volunteers are not only surrounded by beautiful scenery of the Mediterranean Coast but in close proximity to all of the turtle activity. Tasks will be preparing the beach for the start of nesting season in the peak time of mid May to mid August, conducting adult tracking surveys, tagging nesting females and keeping the nests free from damage, relocating eggs safely if nests are threatened. Once hatching season begins, mid July to late October, volunteer tasks will be to look for baby tracks and to monitor the hatching nests, ensuring the wellbeing of the newborns. The data that is collected in the period contributes to both the Greek national coast management plans, but also to the global strategy of the conservation of sea turtles.  

New Greece Sea Turtles Conservation project

Image courtesy of Frontier's Greece Sea Turtles Conservation project

When nesting, a female Loggerhead Turtle produces an average of four egg clutches, and then produces no eggs for two to three years. Eggs incubate for around 80 days and then when the hatchlings emerge from the nest, artificial lighting and other disruptions can ruin their efforts to get to the sea. Adult females have such long breaks between producing eggs, and if these eggs are disrupted, poached, or laid in nests that are destroyed, the breeding rate will be severely affected. Due to these adverse conditions, it is no surprise that the population of Loggerhead Turtles is in decline, but the vital work of volunteers on the Greece Sea Turtle Conservation Project will help determine the success of the species.

Learn more about Sea Turtle Conservation with Frontier in Greece, Thailand, Sri Lanka, Costa Rica, and the Maldives.

Join the Frontier Community online with Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.

See more from volunteers on Flickr and YouTube.

New Greece Sea Turtles Conservation project


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