Argostoli Field Station
With 21 nests in Avithos area, 16 along the airport beaches, and 2 in the Lassi area, it has been a busy few weeks for our Argostoli field station! Reaching a total of 147 emergences, we are now at 39 nests in the Argostoli area.
Our morning surveys have been very lively, with the team being fortunate enough to observe a nesting female on Paliostafida towards the end of her laying her eggs, before returning to sea. However, this was not the only emergence witnessed by our volunteers! Our team managed to spot an attempt on Avithos, and the female involved was tagged on her way back to sea.
On top of being lucky enough to see these attempts, we also had a rescue of a female turtle, who has been named Bubbles. We were first made aware of bubbles by kayakers out on the water, so we jumped into action and managed to find the turtle and check its condition. After a quick assessment, we saw that she was suffering from a wound on her carapace, likely due to a boat strike. Bubbles was therefore transported to Athens, where she has started her road to recovery. She is in stable condition, and we wish her the best of luck with her recovery!
Lixouri Field Station
Sixteen nests have been located and protected over the past 2 weeks across Lixouri beaches, bringing our current total protected nest count to 23.
Night Surveys on Megas Lakkos beach have been busy, with 10 different turtles observed and measured, 6 of which were newly tagged. Seven of these 10 females laid their nests and we welcomed back Danielle, a regular resident of the Argostoli harbour, who returned to lay her second clutch of the season, 13 days after her first.
Volunteers on morning survey have been lucky enough to observe 2 nesting females laying eggs after sunrise, on both Vatsa and Megas Lakkos beaches. Both of these nests were relocated to a safer location within a couple of hours of them being laid. Luckily we relocated the nest on Vatsa so quickly, because a large digger was seen driving over the original nest spot less than an hour after the relocation was completed.
Four other nests were relocated over the past 2 weeks. This included an emergency relocation of a nest on Megas Lakkos beach, where a storm caused high tides, flooding the egg chamber. The eggs were quickly moved higher up the beach to a new egg chamber, to increase the distance from sea and reduce the potential of future flooding. This, now relocated, nest was laid by Piccolo, a turtle observed during night survey, who was previously tagged by Fondazione Cetacea, a rehab center in Riccione, Italy. We are looking forward to seeing the success of this nest, as it was an irregular looking clutch, containing 31 eggs of differing size and shape.
Skala Field Station
Our first group of volunteers have experienced an exciting first two weeks of the season, and we have recently welcomed a new group who are settling into the project well.
Over the course of their snorkelling surveys our first group were able to map over 13km of seafloor with an average Posidonia coverage of 32.25%. We are very grateful for the ongoing effort our volunteers demonstrate to gather this vital data. In our sand dune surveys, over 100 quadrats have been analysed and recorded to determine the presence of different plant species. This data is shared with the National Park in the interest of conserving the sand dunes on Skala and Mounda beaches.
We have seen a sea turtle nest on our Lourdas morning survey, as well as an abandoned egg chamber and four non-attempts. This week’s nest was protected during the survey then subsequently relocated to Kanali beach as it is a more suitable location for the nest.
Aside from our busy shifts, our volunteers have enjoyed our pizza night, boat trip and souvlaki night. On the 6th June everyone took a boat trip across to Zakynthos, going to the shipwreck beach, blue caves and even seeing dolphins on the journey back! For pizza night we took our pizza down to Skala beach at sunset for the volunteers last night with us. Souvlaki night went down very well, with all the volunteers and staff heading down to a restaurant in Skala together.