Loggerhead Turtles in Kefalonia
Although Zante is the most important nesting site for these turtles which are an endangered species, there is a nesting site at Kefalonia called Kaminia beach. The sea Turtle Protection Society work hard and long to protect the fascinating creatures when they come in to nest on the beach.
The females heave and tug themselves across the beach to find a nesting site digging holes and laying small round eggs. An average nest would have 120 eggs and once they are safely covered with warm sand the female returns to the water. Some females will lay as many as four times during the nesting season and the eggs take about two months to hatch.
The baby turtles dig their way out at night and head instinctively for the sea. This natural pattern can be disrupted by noise and lights. Sometimes the body clock in the baby turtles goes away and they pop out during the day. If you see a turtle its best not to touch it as its essential to their survival that they make their own way to the sea. After leaving the beach in the day.
The Marine Turtle Project was set up some years ago to observe and record the nesting female turtles on the beaches near to the villages of Skala and Ratzakli on the south-eastern tip of the island. This project has continued to this day and incorporated a conservation programme to promote the protection of the beaches where these creatures lay their eggs.
Just outside Katelios you will find a little old schoolhouse which has been transformed and is now the base for The Katelios Group for the Research and Protection of Marine and Terrestrial Life. The group was founded in 1994 and consists mainly of local people with an interest in the long term future of Kefalonia. Volunteer students from all over the world stay on a camp site close by whilst collecting data and making their observations on marine life. The group are also involved with setting up self sufficient commercially viable projects that fall under the heading of Environmentally Sustainable Community development.