Our latest news – June 5, 2023

Lixouri Field Station

It’s been a busy start to the season in Lixouri, with 7 nests already located and protected across 6 beaches. The first of these nests was found on the 19th of May on Vatsa beach, which is believed to be one of the first nests laid across the whole of the Mediterranean.

Night Surveys have begun and have already proven successful. Danielle, a turtle regularly seen in the Argostoli harbour, was spotted nesting on Megas Lakkos beach. She was first tagged in 2015 and was also observed mating in the Argostoli harbour at the end of March this year. The team were lucky enough to watch her dig an egg chamber and deposit her eggs, before covering them up and camouflaging the nest. Unfortunately, this nest was laid too close to the sea and so to increase the probability of hatching success, it was relocated higher up the beach the following morning.

A nest found on Kounopetra beach, by a group of volunteers, was also relocated this week. This beach has a high clay content, which impacts the amount of oxygen that can reach the nest. Oxygen exchange is essential for the eggs during their incubation period and hence nests laid on this beach often must be relocated as early as possible. This clutch of 136 eggs was moved to the nearby beach of Megas Lakkos, within 24 hours of it being laid.

Argostoli Field Station

With two new nests in the Avithos area and four new nests in the airport area, there are now 8 protected nests across the beaches in Argostoli. We are still eagerly awaiting our first nest in the Lassi area. We had our first nest relocation of the season this week, as the nest that was found on Ammes needed to be moved to a safer location. The nest was laid close to the sea and due to the nature of this beach was very likely to be flooded before hatching. Therefore, by relocating this nest we have increased the distance of the nest to the sea and decreased the chances of this nest being affected by flooding. We look forward to seeing this nest hatching in a few months!

We saw the return of Scute at the Argostoli harbour after she travelled up north to Amvrakikos for the winter. We have been able to follow her journey around Greece after a transmitter was placed on Scute’s carapace in October 2022. We are excited to see how long she will stay and where she will go next!

Skala Field Station

On Thursday our first volunteer group of the season arrived in Skala! We are fortunate to have three of our volunteers staying with us for four weeks. The group are already showing passion for the project and is keen to get involved wherever they can. This week marks the start of the second year of the Skala project, where new shifts and new office space have been introduced.

Our volunteers have been taking good care of our beaches by sifting the sand for microplastics, surveying the plant life on the sand dunes and clearing litter off the beach. Throughout the season, these shifts aim to maintain and protect the nesting beaches of Kefalonia. A large number of microplastics and four large bags of plastic waste have been removed from the beaches by our team.

Finally, the first snorkel survey of the season was a success, with both our teams gathering some very useful data on the condition of the Posidonia seagrass near the end of Mounda Beach. We have already started using this data to form a map of the seagrass meadows surrounding the Skala beaches using QGIS software.

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