This week in the Argostoli area we said goodbye to our first group of volunteers for the season, and welcomed the new group. The current volunteers are in the middle of thorough training sessions, which will allow them to take part in the various research shifts that we do here at Wildlife sense. This includes harbour shifts and morning surveys. It was a shame to say goodbye to the first group of volunteers of the season. However, we were excited to welcome our new volunteers since sharing our passion and work with the turtles is what we love to do.
Our morning surveys teams this week have found two more nests in the Avithos area. Unfortunately, one of the two nests found was only 8m away from the high tide line, which meant it needed relocating. To decrease the risk of inundation from storm tides, nests need to be at least 10m from the ocean. So, in the evening a group of volunteers went back out to the beach to perform the relocation. Relocations involve digging a new egg chamber; removing eggs from existing egg chamber; and making sure the new egg chamber matches the old before finally putting the eggs back into the new egg chamber. We successfully managed to relocate the nest of 121 eggs, which beats the island average of 88 eggs by a large amount.
With the addition of these two nests found in the Avithos area in the last week, our turtle nest count is now at four. We can clearly see the turtle activity picking on the beaches around the island and the nesting activity seems to be on a good track!
Written by Annya McKenzie
A surprisingly quiet week for #TeamSkala, with very few emergences spotted on our beaches. However on one of the emergences, we successfully identified a type of digging attempt a turtle uses to test the sand before she lays her eggs. This was an abandoned egg chamber (also referred to as an AEC), the first time we have come across this form of digging attempt.
We are continuing efforts to monitor our singular nest on Skala beach, with the hopes of a successful hatching event in weeks to come.
After undertaking Light Pollution Training with Nikos, the team learnt about concepts and theories, regarding monitoring fluctuating light pollution levels, at the back of our beaches. This training involved understanding how light affects hatchlings, with knowledge being gained about how hatchlings can become misoriented and disoriented by artificial light sources. We have started light pollution survey sessions, 3 times a week, in which the team executes the methodology and guidelines taught by Nikos, assessing light levels in a 360° rotation, at multiple locations along the beach.
We are hopeful of more emergences in the following week and as a result of this, we will be able to complete our Night Survey Training and participate in our first night patrols.
Written by Megan Walley and Kim Guieze