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Giannitsochori monthly achievement report July 2017

A morning turtle proved very popular online!

Objective
One of GVIs objectives is to aid in conservation efforts to maintain a strong biodiversity,
particularly in marine habitats. One of the best ways to do this is to increase awareness of
the issues facing marine life through public awareness campaigns, either face to face or via
social media. This month, during a morning survey with a group of under 18s, we found a
loggerhead sea turtle nesting, pictures of the turtle with these lucky volunteers and staff where
posted on the GVI Giannitsochori Facebook page and reached over 85,000 people. Helping
to spread awareness for these animals and hopefully inspire a large audience to live more
environmentally friendly lives.
Summary
A group of under 18 volunteers were lucky enough to see a loggerhead sea turtle nesting
during a morning survey, lots of pictures were taken and a post on the Giannitsochori
Facebook page reached over 85,000 people, spreading the word of sea turtle conservation
around the world!
Report
6:00 in the morning is not usually the most exciting time of the day but on this day it definitely
was! A group of under 18 volunteers from America were lucky enough to find a loggerhead
sea turtle nesting during a morning survey, this is a very rare event that only happens a few
times a season so obviously the volunteers (and staff!) were incredibly excited! Turtles usually
only nest during the night as it is quieter and there is less danger of predation, so to see one
in the morning light is a real treat for the volunteers. We sat and watched her finish covering
and camouflaging her nest then walk back to sea before protecting her nest from possible
predation or vandalism. Ensuring that the maximum number of hatchlings reach the sea as
possible!.
Each of the volunteers had their picture taken with the turtle as it was finishing its nest for
their personal social media accounts and were obviously extremely excited to see this
beautiful creature by day. One of the major goals of our project is to educate our volunteers
about sea turtle conservation and marine biodiversity as a whole, this is achieved by talks
from staff members and by working in the field on surveys. These sort of experiences help
make our volunteers ambassadors for sea turtle conservation, increasing their enthusiasm
for the project and willingness to spread the word about conservation to family and friends.
This spreads to message about what people can do to help marine conservation efforts at
home like limiting plastic pollution and eating sustainably sourced fish. All of which help in
achieving our goal of protecting these beautiful animals and their marine habitat!
We posted several of the pictures and a video of the turtle on the GVI Giannitsochori page
and it was shared 52 times reaching an audience of over 85,000 people! This means that
over 85,000 people around the world are now aware of what we are doing here in helping
conserve these habitats. Marine conservation is one of the sustainable development goals
that GVI is trying to achieve and by reaching such a large international audience we are
helping educate lots of people about these turtles and hopefully get them interested in marine
conservation as a whole. This sort of public awareness is vital for any project as it encourages
support both from potential future volunteers and possible partners to aid in the conservation
efforts. Gaining public interest in these animals is a vital part in protecting their habitats, by
spreading the message of these animals hopefully more people will live more environmentally
sustainably. Without this sort of social media success it would be much more difficult to
access such a large audience and hopefully make a big impact in protecting their habitats!
Overall this awesome experience helped us teach our volunteers the importance of marine
conservation and what they can do to live more environmentally friendly lives as well as being
used via social media to increase awareness in the project and helping hopefully inspire future
volunteers to come and help save this species and also people at home to live more
environmentally friendly lives!

William Hayes
Field staff