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archelon GREECE

orto botanico, Palermo ITALY

Since 1983, Archelon, the Sea Turtle Protection Society has been protecting 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 turtles.

Among the 10 species in the world, only three can be regularly encountered in the Mediterranean (loggerheads / Caretta caretta, green turtles / Chelonia mydas and leatherbacks / Dermochelys coriacea) and only one, the loggerhead sea turtle, nests in Greece.

The summer projectsallow the daily monitoring of the major nesting areas in Zakynthos (Bay of Laganas), in Peloponnesus (Bays of Kyparissia, Lakonikos and Koroni), and in Crete (Rethymno, Bays of Chania and Messara).

orto botanico, Palermo ITALY

It consists of the recording of everyday reproductive activity. During the morning survey and night survey, the volunteers complete the following tasks: protection of the nests (against human threats, predation, sea inundation), excavations, tagging of the turtles. Public awareness also represents an important part of the programme run by Archelon (Seasonal Information Kiosks, beach patrols and slideshows inform the tourists in the hope of making them more sensitive to the needs of nesting turtles). Since 1994, the main objective of the Rescue Center, located in Glyfada close to Athens, is to rehabilitate the sick and injured turtles through medical treatment, stranding network and public awareness.

Every year more than 500 volunteers participate and help with the work on the nesting beaches and at the Rescue Center.

macro photos

general views

orto botanico, Palermo ITALY

present species

buildings and collections

The Orto Botanico di Palermo (Palermo Botanical Garden) is both a botanical garden and a research and educational institution forming part of, and managed by, the Department of Botany of the University of Palermo. The earliest beginnings of the gardens go back to 1779, when the Accademia dei Regi Studi created the chair of "Botany and medicinal properties". They were allocated a modest plot of land to develop a small botanical garden dedicated to the cultivation of plants with medicinal benefits for the twin objectives of general learning and improving public health. This initial garden allotment soon proved insufficient for the purposes for wich it was intended and in 1786 it was decided to move to the present site, right next to the Piano di Sant'Erasmo. In 1789 the construction of the main part of the administrative buildings of the garden commenced in a

neoclassical style. It is constructed with a central building, the Gymnasium, and two side buildings, the Tepidarium and the Calidarium, designed by the Frenchman Léon Dufourny, who had also designed a part of the oldest section of garden, right next to the Gymnasium. It consists of a rectangular lay out, divided into 4 quadrangles, within which the species are categorised according to Carolus Linnaeus' system of classification. The new garden was opened in 1795 ; in the ensuing years it was improved, with the Aquarium (1798), a great pool hosting numerous species of aquatic plants, and the serra Maria Carolina (greenhouse), completed in 1823. The huge Ficus macrophylla, which is a symbol and a well known attraction of the modern garden, was imported from Norfolk Island (Australia), in 1845. Today's area, some 10 hectares, was reached in 1892, following successive extensions. In 1913 the Giardino coloniale (Colonial Garden) was developed alongside the botanic gardens, but that no longer exists. The gardens have been managed by the Department of Botany since 1985. In 1993, in the context of a project for the safeguard of the genetic patrimony of the mediterranean flora, the bank of the germoplasma has been founded.