Archelon is an association operating, inter alia, in Crete for the protection of Caretta caretta turtles . For many years, this organization has not only taken actions to increase the chances of survival of small turtles, but also gathers detailed data on the number of nests established on the beaches. Unfortunately, this year's summary of last year's season definitely is not optimistic. Over the past dozen or so years, the number of nests on the northern coast of Crete has decreased by more than 40% .
In more detail, these figures look as follows:
It is worth noting that this year, for all three main habitats in Crete (the region of Chania, Rethymno and Messara), the Archelon association recorded a total of 446 nests . It is clearly visible that just two decades ago, such a small number of turtle nests were recorded only for the Rethymno region. This gives a good idea of how threatened is the continued existence of the Caretta cartta species in the Crete ecosystem.
Ulysses Paxinos, the head of the Cryptic Archelon branch, does not leave the slightest illusions in response to the reasons for this: "The downward trend observed in Crete is associated with mass tourism." Intensive activity conducted in the area of beaches causes that further places are lost as breeding areas for turtles. Excessive noise and excessive lighting are one of the most important factors affecting this negative situation.
Checks on beaches conducted by people working within the Archelon association and by the officials of individual municipalities clearly show that there is a significant group of entrepreneurs who are not very willing to apply the recommendations related to the protection of Caretta caretta turtles habitats. It is worth mentioning that in the region of Chania, up to 35% of companies did not remove the sun loungers on the beaches overnight. Unfortunately, without the good will shown by the entrepreneurs, the downward trend seems to be unstoppable. Ulysses Paxinos emphasizes that it is difficult to predict how nature will react to this "challenge" in the coming years ... for now, the effects of human activity are devastating.