With the lifting of travel restrictions over the past two weeks, the project has welcomed its first group of volunteers at the Argostoli Field Station. The team has been kept busy with multiple sea turtle nests, tagging nesting females and removing fishing lines from sea turtles at the harbour of Argostoli!
As of the 16th of July, the current protected nest count in Argostoli is 48, with Lixouri on 30! Amazingly, over the last few days both Avithos and Vatsa morning surveys have been lucky enough to come across two nesting females. There have been several relocations carried out, in order to move nests that were too close to the sea, sunbeds, and beach bars into more suitable locations.
Harbour shifts have seen a number of tagged and untagged turtles, with regulars such as Artemis, Phoebe, and Danielle seen interacting in the harbour. Last Saturday (11th), the harbour shift spotted a turtle (later identified as Delta) swimming with a yellow net trailing from its right rear flipper. After alerting the team, Josh managed to catch the turtle and we were able to remove the net on the back rear right flipper, and also discovered a monofilament line wrapped around the front left flipper that was previously unnoticeable from the harbour wall. After removing both line and net entanglements, barnacles, replacing the front right flipper tag, and measuring Delta, he was released back into the harbour free from fishing debris.
Light Pollution shifts have also had the opportunity to observe nesting turtles on Megali Ammos, the first shift out came across an up track, but no down track so-called the team, who came down and were able to witness the female laying her eggs, before tagging her and performing a health check. She has now been named ‘Megali’ after the beach she nested on!
Sunset swims, Mamma Mia movie nights, and souvlaki takeouts have been great endings to busy days on the beaches for everyone at the project.
We are looking forward to welcoming more volunteers this weekend, to both Argostoili and the newly opened Lixouri Field Station and can’t wait to have their help!