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Ionian Nature Conservation

Information on wildlife and natural habitat management, Sea Turtle rescue, Monk Seal research and volunteer projects in the Greek Ionian.

The Greek Ionian islands are made up a unique combination of forests, beaches, mountains and wildflower meadows, home to some of the rarest wildlife in Europe.


Earth Sea & Sky is a conservation organisation network for Ionian Non-Governmental Organisations working to conserve the flora and fauna of the Greek Ionian.

Our principle objective is to protect the nesting beaches of the Loggerhead turtle and the natural habitats of all wildlife contained within the National Park of Zakynthos.

Our belief in 'conservation by education' means that we provide what is now the only Wildlife Information Centre in Zakynthos, at Gerakas Beach. We estimate that we have 40,000 visitors to the centre each summer, from all over the world.

Earth Sea & Sky organises volunteer placements in Greece, arranges volunteer activities in the Gerakas area over the summer months, does a great deal of Public Awareness work at the Information Centre, liaises with local Zakynthians, and visits schools in the UK to talk about sea turtles. In the past we have arranged the airlift of maimed sea turtles to Sea Life Centres in the UK, and organised the first ever 6-month long clean up of the coast line and forest along the entire length of Laganas Bay.

ESS co-operates with other NGOs, such as Medasset (Meditteranean Association to Save the Sea Turtle), Archipelagos Coastal and Marine management, and Cephallonia National Marine Park Authority.

Yannis Vardakastanis has been a conservationist since 1991, and he set up Earth Sea & Sky in 1993. He has been steadily working to protect Gerakas where he grew up from tourism development. He has directed his energy into bringing conservation and sustainable tourism together, culminating with Ionian Eco Villagers and Nature World Travel. In 2005 he won a First Choice Responsible Tourism Award for his work.

Help to save the endangered wildlife of the Greek Ionian islands





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PO Box 4928 Sheffield S6 9FU

Telephone: 0871 7115 065

Earth Sea & Sky is a not-for-profit organisation, limited by guarantee in England & Wales.  Registration No: 4123700. Endorsed by the European SeaLife SOS Conservation Scheme and dedicated to the protection and conservation of the flora and fauna of Zakynthos and the Greek Ionian.



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Earth Sea & Sky...
was established in Zakynthos in 2000 by Yannis Vardakastanis. Yannis became a conservationist in 1991 and has been steadily working to protect Gerakas where he grew up, from tourism development. Since 1993 he has directed his energy into bringing conservation and sustainable tourism together, culminating in Ionian Eco Vilagers and Nature World Travel - his green tourism companies - and has been actively involved with conservation work on the island ever since.
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S.O.S Turtle Rescue Appeal
Loggerhead Sea Turtles (Caretta caretta) have been on earth for 250 million years and are contemporaries of the earliest dinosaurs. The species, as with all sea turtles is endangered. Each summer hundreds of Loggerheads return to Zakynthos to mate and lay their eggs on the beaches in Laganas Bay.

Zakynthos is the most important nesting ground in Europe, with 80% of the Meditteranean population returning each summer. Loggerheads only return to the beach where they hatched, so the Zakynthian population is indigenous. If they die out the island will not be repopulated by turtles from other areas in the Mediterranean.
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Threats to natural habitats...
Fires , land development, littering, agricultural land clearing, and grazing, pollution, erosion of coast, tourist development, human impact, and illegal dumping.

Illegal dumping and littering of the beaches is one of the greatest threats to many species and habitats. A prime example of how littering and pollution effect and endanger species is the effect on sea turtles. The main dangers from litter are:-

Ingestion of plastics, leading to scarring,blockage of digestive tracts, causing starvation leading to death

Entanglement in discarded fishing lines, leading to death by drowning or injury

Damage to nesting sites, through obstruction, contamination or compaction caused by use of large mechanical cleaning devices. More...

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