ARCHELON, The Sea Turtle Protection Society Of Greece Are Looking For Volunteers To Work On Sea Turtle Conservation Projects In Greece
Enthusiastic and committed volunteers are required to work at ARCHELON’s sea turtle conservation projects in Greece. Zakynthos, Peloponnesus and Crete host major nesting areas for the loggerhead turtle (Caretta caretta) in the Mediterranean and have been monitored by ARCHELON, an environmental NGO for over 25 years. In Athens,
ARCHELON also runs the only Sea Turtle Rescue Centre in Greece.
Volunteers are invited to work on the island of Zakynthos where the first National Marine Park for sea turtles in the Mediterranean was established in 1999, where they will assist the Management Agency of the NMPZ (National Marine Park of Zakynthos) in its task to implement protection measures for the preservation of the sea turtles. In Peloponnesus (Kyparissia Bay, Koroni and Lakonikos Bay), volunteers will protect nests against predation from foxes and other mammals, and assist in the running of the established Nature Information Centre of Agiannaki (Kyparissia Bay). On the island of Crete (Chania, Rethymno and Messara), participants will work for the implementation of a Management Plan for the nesting areas. At the Sea Turtle Rescue Centre, volunteers will have the opportunity to participate in the daily treatment of sea turtles that usually bear injuries as a result of their accidental capture in fishing gear and help in raising of public awareness among the public as well as in the maintenance of the Centre’s facilities.
Please read carefully the details below about the work you are invited to do and then fill in the application form. We will answer you within the next 20 days. Please do not send CVs.
SEASONAL FIELD WORK (Mid May-Mid October)
If you choose to take part in a summer project please note that you will be asked to take part in the following three main activities described below (a through c):
a. Nest management and habitat protection
The nesting season commences at the end of May and lasts until August. The hatchlings emerge at the end of July through to the end of October. During this period, the work of ARCHELON aims at the protection of nesting females, nests and hatchlings and involves:
Morning Survey conducted daily at dawn, to assess the previous night’s turtle activities. It may be long and tedious, physically demanding and extend well into the heat of the day.
Nest Protection against human activities and predation, achieved wherever necessary through screening. Further nests laid in unsafe areas are relocated to safer areas.
During Night Survey, performed by a select number of highly trained volunteers, data is collected on nesting females.
Excavation of a sample of nests is carried out in order to determine hatching success.
The above mentioned tasks vary regarding the needs of each nesting beach.
b. Public awareness
An intensive Public Awareness Programme is carried out on all nesting sites aiming to inform the local communities and visitors about sea turtles and the dangers they face. This work is of particular importance since most loggerhead nesting areas are under pressure from tourism. Volunteers must be prepared to interact long hours with tourists, through participation in:
Information Stations that operate at key points of the nesting sites.
Slide Shows on sea turtle biology and conservation conducted on a regular basis in hotels and other facilities.
Beach Patrols, carried out during the day, and/or Safeguarding of the beaches at night in order to minimise the impact of tourism on the nesting activity and inform beach users.
c. Maintenance and day-to-day duties
These supportive activities are of great importance and play a key role in effective project operation.
Some facilities within the campsites, information stations and hatcheries are erected and dismantled by volunteers.
Basic maintenance of equipment is also volunteer based and includes activities such as painting and carpentry etc. Artistic skills including drawing and photography can also be quite useful.
Finally, each individual shares responsibilities on mutual well being related to communal life with people originating from several countries and the overall proper operation of campsites.
ALL YEAR ROUND SEA TURTLE REHABILITATION (Sea Turtle Rescue Center)
Many sea turtles are annually reported stranded throughout Greece, usually caught in fishing gear or injured by speedboats and fishermen. The ones that are still alive have a good chance to survive if immediate and proper treatment is provided. As a consequence, ARCHELON established in 1994 its Sea Turtle Rescue Centre in Athens with the following objectives:
- To treat and rehabilitate injured, sick or weak sea turtles
- To raise public awareness, especially amongst schoolchildren and fishermen
- To operate a Sea Turtle Rescue Network throughout Greece
For these purposes, five old train wagons have been converted into facilities, which include rehabilitation, exhibition, and accommodation areas. These facilities have expanded to include two containers and several outdoor tanks for the sea turtles.
Interested volunteers must be prepared to do physically demanding work for long hours. Please note that basic knowledge of animal care is highly appreciated.
Duties are described briefly below:
Actions related to the Rescue Network include response to live strandings throughout Greece, collection and transport of injured turtles. (If you possess a driving license please do not neglect to bring it along). Sea Turtle Rehabilitation tasks include preparation and administration of food, operation of the sea water supply systems, carrying and cleaning the animals, as well as cleaning the facilities and equipment. Public Awareness activities include the running of exhibition area and providing information to visitors. Finally other duties, that consume large proportion of voluntary time, include basic maintenance activities as well as cleaning of surroundings and living quarters.
Basic accommodation and cooking facilities are provided at the Centre in one of the train wagons used exclusively for these purposes.
SPECIAL VOLUNTEER CATEGORIES
a. Car Driver Volunteers (within the summer projects)
The task of these volunteers will focus mainly on transporting volunteers and material to the different areas of work (within each project) and taking care of the car. Car-Driver Volunteers in a summer project will work in six-hour shifts, but one of them will have the overall responsibility of the car. Responsibility of a car implies keeping the car clean and in good condition; taking care of regular services and repairs (if needed), in cooperation with the project leader, and driving carefully following the traffic rules. Car-Driver Volunteers will be asked to pay only the annual subscription fee of ARCHELON which is 30€ and not the fee for regular volunteers. This applies to the projects of Kyparissia, Zakyntho, Chania and Messara Bay. For Rethymno, they will be asked to cover their accommodation to the camping in addition to the annual subscription. The prices for Rethymno project can be found in our website (participation guide). He/she needs to be over 23 years old and to have experience of driving at least 1 years. Car-Driver volunteers can also take part, if they wish, in monitoring and/or public awareness activities in consultation with their project leader and according to the needs of the project.
b. Technical Support Volunteers (at the Rescue Centre)
Technical Support Volunteer. The task of these volunteers will focus on providing maintenance duties, like painting, basic carpenter work, operating the water-supply system, etc. These volunteers need to have previous experience in technical (handyman) work. Technical Support Volunteers will be asked to cover only the annual subscription fee of ARCHELON which is 30€ and not the fee for regular volunteers.
c. Part-Time Volunteers Category
The part-time volunteers are following the schedule of the project as described above and they have the duties as regular volunteers. Please note that this is arranged with the local leaders based on the availability of the part-time volunteers. The part-time volunteers have the responsibility to dispatch the tasks that have undertaken. They live outside of the Field Research Station or the Sea Turtle Rescue Center. The fee is 30€ and they become supporters of ARCHELON for a year.
Families can now actively participate by helping our team of volunteers at the area of Lakonikos’ Bay during July and August. They participate in selected activities depending on the age of the children. However, both parents and children become part of the voluntary team.
Families who participate in the “Family Volunteering” stay within inside the camping “MELTEMI” in Mavrovouni, Gytheio close to ARCHELON’s Field Research Station, which is located. The family volunteers follow an independent schedule and help ARCHELON volunteers in selected activities during the day, such as providing information to the public on sea turtles and the protection of the marine environment or protecting nests. Families cover their own transportation, accommodation and food expenses. Accommodation within the camping is offered at a 10% discount. Participation fees for families are set at 30 Euros per parent and 15 Euros per child. Children participating in the project must be 8 to 18 years old. Parents become ARCHELON supporters and will receive a volunteer t-shirt. There is no minimum stay limit for families, although a minimum of ten days is advised.
In order to participate, a family has to fill in and send the special application form. Reply is sent within 20 working days of its receipt.
- Applicants must be over 18 years of age, able to communicate in English (the projects are English speaking) and carry a health insurance policy. The recommended participation period is more than 6 weeks (minimum participation 4 weeks/28 days). Long term participation is highly appreciated
- Volunteers are selected on an individual basis. Groups of more than two persons are not accepted for the same project and period of time
- Volunteers are entitled to 3 days off during a 28 day period
- Only formally accepted volunteers will participate in the projects. These include the fill of ARCHELON’s application form, the receipt of an acceptance letter that we send to you once your application form is approved and mainly the confirmation of the participation. Details about the confirmation are sent with the acceptance letter. Please make sure your participation is confirmed before you arrive at the project. No one is accepted in ARCHELON projects without following the above mentioned procedure.
FIELD WORK REQUIREMENTS
Please note that there is a greater need for volunteers during the beginning (mid May to June) and the end (September to mid October) of the projects
- Volunteers stay on either designated camp areas, restricted to ARCHELON volunteers, with outdoor basic sanitary and cooking facilities (cold water showers, gas or electric stoves and fridges, cooking pots and pans, cutlery, crockery) or organised camps. It is absolutely necessary to bring along camping gear (e.g. sleeping bag, tent, torch, alarm clock), warm and comfortable clothes, waterproofs (especially for May and September/ October), plus decent clothes for working with the public
- Volunteers must be prepared to share a communal life, living and working in both populated and secluded areas, often as members of small teams and usually under harsh conditions. Although relevant experience is not necessary, the ability to live and co-operate with people of different cultures and background is essential
- Volunteers are trained and supervised by field leaders and experienced project members. They must be prepared to participate in every aspect of the work. Duties are allocated by the field leaders and may include working throughout the night or long hours during the day
Summer projects: Once approved, an applicant will have to pay once a non-refundable participation fee ranging from 200€ to 300€ (except Rethymno and Koroni Project) which depends on the date of arrival. In Rethymno and Koroni the accommodation of the volunteers is placed in an organised camping and the volunteers need to cover their own accommodation. Please visit the Participation Guide of each of the above mentioned projects to find out more details about it. Below you will find the fees for the rest of the projects:
Mid May to 15th of June - 200€
16th of June to 20th of August - 300€
21st of August to mid October - 200€
Rescue Centre: The participation fee of applicants accepted to work at ARCHELON’s Rescue Centre is 200€ regardless of arrival date.
Technical Support Volunteers (at the Rescue Center) and Car-Driver Volunteers are asked to pay only the annual subscription fee of ARCHELON which is 30€ and not the fee for regular volunteers. This applies to the projects of Kyparissia, Zakyntho, Chania and Messara Bay. For Rethymno, they will be asked to cover their accommodation to the camping in addition to the annual subscription.
The participation fee includes administration and training cost as well as the cost of the annual subscription to ARCHELON, an exclusive “volunteer” T-shirt and a turtle biology booklet (both received upon arrival), the accommodation (except the project of Rethymno and Koroni) and the insurance of the volunteers in case of an accident (covers up to a limit). The volunteers of summer projects are staying in ARCHELON camp-sites or organized campings (depending on the project) for the duration of their volunteering.
ARCHELON is not in a position to offer financial assistance or give refunds. Volunteers cover both their travel and food expenses. An amount of about €15 per day may suffice to cover basic food needs.
Available for students interested to carry out undergraduate or postgraduate research during their voluntary work. Applications must be made well in advance in order to receive further information and complete a research agreement form. The deadline for research proposals is 15th of March each year.
ARCHELON, the Sea Turtle Protection Society of Greece
57 Solomou Street, GR-104 32, ATHENS, Greece
TEL/FAX: + 30 210 5231342
No Enquires Of A Commercial Nature, Thank You.