Turtle hatching happening in Rethymno!
From May to August each year, female loggerheads lay their eggs on the fine sandy beaches of Rethymno, the third most important reproduction habitat of sea turtles in all of Greece.
Rethymno stands out as a coastal nature reserver with exceptionally clean seawater. The region's pristine shoreline, undisturbed by pollution, creates an ideal environment for the loggerhead turtles to lay their eggs. These gentle marine reptiles are known to be highly sensitive to water quality, awarded every year with many Blue Flags, making Rethymno's immaculate coastal waters a crucial factor in their decision to return year after year.
The fine sandy beaches of Rethymno provide the loggerhead turtles with an ideal nesting environment. The soft, compact sand allows the turtles to dig deep and secure their nests, ensuring the safety of their precious eggs during the incubation period. This, combined with the favorable climate and abundant food resources, creates a nurturing ecosystem for the hatchlings once they emerge.
A female Caretta Caretta may travel thousands of miles to lay her eggs on the same beach where she was a hatchling herself!
Every summer, sea turtles come to Rethymno’s trusted beaches to lay their eggs for reproduction. ARCHELON’s volunteers found the first tracks of hatchlings successfully entering the sea.
The Sea Turtle Caretta Caretta species has been on earth for about 110 million years.
They come out of the ocean onto the shore each spring and summer, where they dig in and lay from 120 to 150 eggs. In a couple of months under the cover of the night, the hatchlings dig and claw their way to the surface and toward the surf.
It's very rare to see a baby sea turtle but in case you do, contact one of the trained ARCHELON volunteers. At the begining of the hatching season, ARCHELON volunteers orginize guided walks.
As a Sea Turtle Protection Program volunteer, ARCHELON volunteers from almost everywhere in the world work together, with the municipality of Rethymno, in order to inform beach visitors what to do in case they encounter hatchlings on the beach during the day.
Sea turtles use reflections from the moon and the stars on the waves to find their way back to the ocean. Therefore, artificial lights disorient the hatchlings, leaving them at risk of human interference and other predators, which can cause their death on the land, as they may head towards the roads instead of taking their natural path to the ocean. In case you are curious to see what a loggerhead Caretta Caretta nest looks like and maybe a few late hatchlings, stay tuned for the scheduled public nest excavation events!
Information will also be available from the Information Kiosks of ARCHELON in the Venetian harbor of Rethymno.