Comenius Students visit Archipelagos, a Greek non-profit, non-governmental organization
<ul><li>Archipelagos, Institute of Marine Conservation, is a Greek non-profit, non-governmental organization committed to conservation of the marine and terrestrial environments of the Greek seas and islands. Archipelagos has been active since 1998 in several parts of the Greek seas (Ionian, Sporades, Central Aegean, Lybian and Eastern Aegean). Since 2000, Archipelagos' field of action has focused on the eastern Aegean. Their main terrestrial research base is located on the island of Ikaria and their main marine research base is on the island of Samos, while they also provide research stations in 3 islets of the eastern Aegean. </li></ul>
The Institute is by the sea near our village so on the morning of December the 2 nd our students set out by coach to visit it
The students were shown presentations of rare animals and plants that exist on the island of Samos , they also learned about the marine life of the Aegean Sea.
During the visit they learned about the fascinating terrestrial life on Samos. The children participated in an interactive talk by Anastasia Miliou, the manager of Archipelagos. The conservation and threats that face the chameleons, flamingos, lizards, insects on the island as well as the diverse flora of the island, were just a few of the topics discussed. They also talked about what they can do to protect the unique environment of the island.
<ul><li>The following are some of the rare animals that can be found on the island of Samos. </li></ul>
The islands of the Aegean Sea are diverse with herpetological species , from highly venomous vipers to the very rare Mediterranean Common Chameleon .
The Mediterranean or Common Chameleon ( Chamaeleo chamaeleon ) has the widest distribution of all the chameleon species in the world, and can be found in Northern Africa, the Middle East and Spain, Portugal and Greece. However, in Greece it is currently endemic to the island of Samos , eastern Aegean Sea. Populations once existed in several other parts of Greece. It has only been in the last 20 years that they have disappeared from other islands, such as Chios and Crete. With this in mind, it is essential that awareness is raised of the importance of protecting this species on Samos, before this species goes extinct from Greece.
The golden jackal Canis aureus has in Samos the only island population in Greece.
<ul><li>David Urry, Archipelagos’ zoologist in charge of the jackals on Samos, played the children a jackal call recording which they found captivating. The children recounted stories of their experiences with the animals on the island. Some told of how they listen to the Jackals howling as they lie in bed at night. </li></ul>
The school group also visited the laboratory to learn about water quality analysis, seed collection and preparation, as well as ant species identification, from the researcher Julian Donald and Monica Demetriou Achipelagos’ Marine Research coordinator.
Looking through the microscope they identified various ant species
They were impressed by the seed collection and how they were prepared for conservation
They saw snakes found on the island conserved in bottles
They even had a quick look at the diving gear used for their underwater explorations
We would like to thank the Institute of Marine Conservation for the unique experience they offered to our students .They helped our students become more aware of the uniqueness of our island and made them realize that they can play an active role in the conservation of their natural heritage