ARCHELON, the Sea Turtle Protection Society of Greece

ARCHELON, the Sea Turtle Protection Society of Greece


Solomou 57, GR-10432, Athens, Greece - +302105231342

description of organisation

ARCHELON, founded in 1983, is a nation-wide, non-profit, nature conservation organisation working for the protection of sea turtles and their habitats in Greece. Primary objective of ARCHELON has been to protect the sea turtles and their habitats in Greece through monitoring and research, developing and implementing management plans, habitat restoration, raising public awareness and rehabilitating sick and injured sea turtles.
The Society’s activities include monitoring of turtle populations, active management on nesting beaches, lobbying and raising of public awareness. Furthermore the Society provides data and scientific information to the European Union, the Council of Europe, the Greek Government and local authorities and communities. ARCHELON is a member of the European Union for Coastal Conservation (EUCC). Members of ARCHELON belong to the Marine Turtle Specialist Group. They also participate in various international or Mediterranean conferences every year for the formation of sea turtle protection strategy.
ARCHELON has received the following awards: Academy of Athens (1984), Ford Environmental Award (1993), TUI Prize for the best environmental organisation involved with tourism (1993/94). In 2011 ARCHELON was awarded by the Employees of OTE Cultural Association in Zakynthos for their contributions to the protection of Caretta caretta and to volunteerism.
In 2017 ARCHELON was awarded by the Municipality of Rethymno for its contribution to the protection of the environment and especially of the endangered species Caretta caretta, the cultivation of the voluntary spirit and the sustainable touristic development of the area of Rethymno in Crete.
ARCHELON has been systematically monitoring the major nesting areas (Zakynthos, Peloponnesus, Crete) of Caretta caretta in Greece since as early as 1984. As a result, the status of the existing populations of Caretta caretta has been assessed, a very useful parameter in conservation and development plans. In 1994, the Society established, in collaboration with the local Municipality, the Sea Turtle Rescue Centre in Glyfada (near Athens) which receives injured or sick sea turtles for treatment and rehabilitation.
ARCHELON’s head office is based in Athens, which provides support and facilitates communication among the projects of Zakynthos, Crete, Peloponnesus, Amvrakikos and the Rescue Centre. On the island of Zakynthos the first National Marine Park for sea turtles in the Mediterranean was established in 1999 and ARCHELON assist the Management Body of the Park in its task to protect the nesting beaches. On the island of Crete ARCHELON works for the implementation of the Management Plan for the nesting areas in co-operation with the local community and since 2005 a First Aid Station for injured sea turtles has been established. Peloponnesus is the cradle of many of ARCHELON’s new initiatives such as the pilot project of sand dune restoration, collaboration with fishermen and the creation and running of eco-tourism facilities such as nature trails and Environmental Information Centres. In Amvrakikos project, ARCHELON has been monitoring the area for the past decade in order to research the turtle presence by spotting, tagging and satellite tracking the population.
ARCHELON is run by a seven-membered Board of Directors, elected every two years by the General Assembly of its 60 regular members. The Board makes decisions on ARCHELON’s policies which are implemented with the aid of the Director and a total of 12 employees.
Every year, more than 500 volunteers come from all over the world to assist in the protection of sea turtles. They play a key role in data collection of nesting activity, nest management and protection. Volunteers also provide information to tourists and the local community about the species, its conservation and the importance of protecting the environment. Volunteers who work at the Rescue Centre are involved in the daily care of injured sea turtles and are trained to respond to reports of live strandings throughout Greece.

inclusion topics

This organisation is willing to involve volunteers who face situations which make their participation in activities more difficult, from the following categories for different types of project:

Inclusion categoryReceiving projectsSending projectsCoordinating projectsHosting organisationSupporting organisation
Economic obstacles
Cultural differences
Geographical obstacles

This organisation is accredited to run projects under Erasmus+ Volunteering and the European Solidarity Corps.

Scope Volunteering

Role Expiry date
PIC: 947909318 OID: E10204303
Last updated on 11/04/22

Organisation topics

Environment and climate change