Archipelagos Work Journal

Updates on our ongoing conservation projects

Common dolphin (D. delphis) bioacoustics project – a study about vocalization and sociality of the common dolphin population in the Aegean Sea, February-March 2018. Common dolphins often live in pods consisting of around 12-20 individuals in the Mediterranean Sea (Murphy et al., 2008). The population of this particular species has been declining at an alarming
  Mankind is having a major impact on every ecosystem on earth. From the very tops of the tallest peaks to the deepest abysses in our oceans, the world is changing, and how we measure these impacts, is also changing. Bioindicator species are helping us understand how we have affected our world and can even
Microplastics content found in edible fish and invertebrate species of the Eastern Aegean Sea, February 2018 The increasing abundance of marine plastic debris is a worldwide issue and it represents a critical threat in areas such as the Mediterranean Sea. Many studies so far already documented the negative effects of this global issue on marine
One of the projects of Archipelagos marine conservation team is the study and assessment of the litter that is accumulating on coastal zones, waterways and wildlife areas here on Samos and Lipsi islands. This litter has the potential to cause many fatalities both on land in the marine environment. Macroplastics are plastic pieces larger than
Echinoderms play an important role in marine, benthic ecosystems. They can be both carnivorous or, most importantly, grazers. The grazing of sea urchins specifically reduces the rate of colonization on bare rocks by settling organisms. This keeps algae in check, thereby enhancing the biodiversity of coral reefs. Despite that, echinoderms sometimes have large population swings
The last half year, the GIS-team was working out a method for seagrass mapping. Global seagrass meadows are under threat. Reduction of water clarity, climate change and dredging destroy meadows at an incredible speed of 1.5% a year. The mapping of the Greek seagrass meadows, especially the specie Posidonia Oceanica, remains behind and counteracts conservation
The presence of vast amounts of plastics in our oceans is cause for great concern for our marine wildlife due to their toxicity, persistence and ubiquity. With the production of plastics increasing, these pollutants are entering our oceans and breaking down into microplastics (MPs) at an ever-increasing rate. Microplastics are buoyant fragments of <5mm which
This spring Archipelagos Institute started working with Samos International Airport to establish the population and distribution of the golden jackal (Canis aureus L.) in the airport area. We have been collecting data on the population, home range, activity patterns and use of the airport habitat. This information is used for the exclusion process that aims
Seagrass​ ​plays​ ​a​ ​vital​ ​role​ ​in​ ​the​ ​health​ ​of​ ​coastal​ ​ecosystems​ ​all​ ​across​ ​the​ ​world.​ ​It​ ​is​ ​useful​ ​in sediment​ ​stabilization​ ​and​ ​carbon​ ​storage,​ ​and​ ​it​ ​supports​ ​a​ ​very​ ​diverse​ ​set​ ​of​ ​organisms.​ ​The seagrass​ ​beds​ ​often​ ​house​ ​commercial​ ​invertebrate​ ​and​ ​fish​ ​species,​ ​and​ ​are​ ​therefore​ ​not​ ​only ecologically​ ​important​ ​but​ ​economically,​ ​as​ ​well. Seagrasses​
Posidonia oceanica meadows are one of the most valuable ecosystems of the Mediterranean Sea. Climate change, fishing activities and anthropogenic influences threaten the survival of these meadows. Since the 20th century, 30% of the seagrass meadows have disappeared. Therefore, there is an increasingly pressing need to map the current extent of the seagrass cover. The
The Terrestrial Team of Archipelagos is monitoring the avifauna in Aliki Psili Ammos Natura 2000 wetland. This area is an important habitat for many bird species, including migratory birds heading towards Asia. Many species use the shallow coastal salt lagoon as a breeding site, which is why the habitat is worth protecting. In recent years
Archipelagos Marine Mammal Team has been monitoring the population of  Sperm Whales (Physeter macrocephalus) in the north Aegean Sea for over 17 years. Physeter macrocephalus is the biggest species of Odontoceti – toothed whales. A female can reach approximately 12 m and the male 18 m in length. The large head occupies one-third of the
Archipelago’s Terrestrial Conservation Team is carrying out extensive field research on Ikaria Island on the highly biodiversity flora and fauna of the island. Monitoring aims to link past data of the research carried out on the island in previous years, and currently a series of monitoring surveys are ongoing since beginning of the summer. The
The sea gives out the illusion of a serene place to either relax or work in. The tranquility of the sea depth is what most of us expect to hear and see. However, the open seas are realistically noisy and contaminated. Archipelagos Marine Mammal team is working to prove how noisy the Aegean Sea and
Our generation is accustomed to having easy access to high quality images of everything, at nearly no expense and in no time at all. Despite of this, scientific illustrations are still needed because of only a very small detail can help differentiate one species from another. Hence scientific illustrations are useful as they can be
The ideal weather conditions allowed the Archipelagos Marine Mammal Team to carry out an extensive survey in the waters north of Samos and Ikaria Islands during the past week. The Team spent several days in the sea with the aim to have an updated census of the cetacean species present in the study area. At the
The Mediterranean Sea has one of the highest concentrations of marine plastic debris. As it is a semi-closed sea, dispersion of plastics is limited due to water circulation and tidal flow. Through mechanical degradation of wave action and abrasion by sand, this plastic debris is broken down in to microplastics (<5mm). Additional processes that enhance
The Terrestrial Team from the Archipelagos Institute has focused on a project about the distribution and habitat preferences of Mediterranean chameleons on Samos Island. The aim is to collect as much data as possible about the habitat use of the Mediterranean chameleon (Chamaeleo chamaeleon). In order to conserve the species, it is necessary to understand their
The Mediterranean monk seal (Monachus monachus) is the rarest species of marine mammal in Europe with only around 500 individuals surviving in the world. They are currently listed as “endangered” on the IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) Red List. With such a small remaining population, the actions for their monitoring and conservation are
The Joint Educational Oceanographic Research Course of the University of Essex UK with the Archipelagos Institute, took place in the marine area between Samos and Ikaria islands. For one week, with parallel recordings by Archipelagos’ 3 research vessels, with the aid of contemporary research equipment, the final year students of Marine Sciences from Essex university,
The Marine Conservation Team of Archipelagos Institute has started to use marine bioindicator species to monitor ecosystems of the littoral zone. Bioindicator species are species which only can sustain within high quality environmental conditions. The use of Bioindicator Species is becoming of increasing importance as they can tell us more about the cumulative effects of
The long-term macroplastic monitoring project began in early June 2017 and has since been carried out almost daily in two beaches of SE Samos. Every weekday, two members of the research team go to the sites to collect all the debris left by the public and washed in by the sea. All the collected debris
Due to the large biodiversity of cetacean species inhabiting its waters, the Aegean Sea is considered an incredibly important marine area. Archipelagos Institute is conducting a study about the influence of environmental factors on the spatial distribution of dolphins. In particular, this study is focused on two dolphin species that are facing a dramatic population
Posidonia oceanica is an endemic seagrass species in the Mediterranean Sea. It has a key ecological role and many impacts on its ecosystem. Its role in fisheries production and in sediment stabilization are well-known. In fact, seagrass meadows provide habitats for a number of threatened species. However, throughout the Mediterranean these meadows are declining at
The golden jackal Canis aureus Linnaeus is the rarest canid species in Greece. The species has experienced a population decline over the past three decades on both Samos and in Greece in general. It is protected under Annex V of the EU Habitats Directive. The European Conservation Status however for the golden jackal in Greece
The Ocean Acidification (OA) problem is referred to a reduction of the sea water pH caused primarily by the anthropogenic increasing uptake of CO2 from the atmosphere. There is a direct relationship between atmospheric CO2 and ocean pH: as CO2[atm]-uptake increases, the pH drops. Industrial activities have resulted in an increase in atmospheric CO2 concentrations
Numerous reasons are known as to why marine mammals strand, however, unfortunately it would seem the case that human activity is be a key contributor to these deaths. Data has been collected by the Archipelagos Institute of Marine Conservation ranging from 1994 to the present day, incorporating factors such as seasonality, cause of death, condition
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