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Archelon Turtle rehabilitation centre

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.

In 1994, ARCHELON in co-operation with the Municipality of Glyfada and the financial support of the Environmental Ministry, set up one of the first Sea Turtle Rescue Centres in the Mediterranean, located in Glyfada, near Athens by the seaside (see the map). Its main functions are to receive, treat and rehabilitate injured and sick sea turtles, release them back to the wild and raise public awareness.

The operation and maintenance of the Rescue Centre is based on volunteers. Every year almost 50 volunteers contribute to sea turtle treatment, maintenance duties and public awareness.

Volunteer role:

The volunteer will be expected to participate in all aspects of work at the Rescue Centre under the supervision of specialised staff. These are the Rescue Network, sea turtle rehabilitation, public awareness and maintenance. Duties will be allocated by the Project Leader, usually in accordance with a weekly schedule. Interns share the same duties as the rest of the volunteers. Please note that adult sea turtles are heavy and may weigh up to 80 kg. You will be shown how to handle them during your training.

Rescue Network: activities include response to injured sea turtle stranding throughout Greece, collection of injured sea turtles from the airport, train or bus station, or ports. Understandably these activities are not part of the daily routine, but take priority whenever they do occur. Volunteers with an EU driving license might be asked to drive ARCHELON’s car for this purpose.

Sea turtle Rehabilitation: duties include the preparation and administration of food (usually fish) to the turtles, daily treatment of the animals as determined by the vets (administering medication, cleaning wounds) as well as taking bio metric data and making behaviour observations. This is one of the main daily activities within the Rescue Centre, since at any given time there is an average of 20 to 25 turtles under treatment. Please note that this is a highly physical demanding task.

Public Awareness: activities include the running of the Rescue Centre’s exhibition area and providing information to visitors, conducting presentations to organised groups and assisting in public events organised by ARCHELON to promote the Rescue Centre (e.g. publicised sea turtle releases, participation in exhibitions, etc).

Maintenance: activities include basic maintenance duties like painting of the wagons, operation of the water supply systems as well as cleaning the facilities and equipment.

Data entry: Detailed information is kept on each sea turtle case admitted to the Rescue Centre. All data collected is entered in databases so that they can be subsequently used for the compilation of statistical reports. Volunteers may be asked to assist by carrying out data entry on the computer.

Date: We are looking for volunteers who can volunteer for six months, next available slot December 2019 - June 2020

Funding available:

Erasmus+ grant Unit cost Total £     
 Travel €360 £315
 General allowance €5 per day


 Total   £1105

Interested? Please read more in our project information document and send an email to 



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