Among the numerous awareness-raising activities we carry out year-round, Archipelagos was happy to host a group of 33 scouts ages 7-11 from Samos, Chios and Leros islands on Tuesday, June 20th.

In the morning, they all attended a lesson on the wildlife of the Aegean and watched animations on the Aegean wildlife, all produced by Archipelagos’ media team. After a round of questions answered by the scientific director of Archipelagos, Anastasia Miliou, the children filed outside for some educational and interactive activities.

There was a presentation about the unique terrestrial animals of the island by researchers Megan Kelly (University of Salford) from the UK and Poorva Shrivastava (Delhi Technological University) from India , where the scouts showed off their wildlife knowledge answering questions about reptiles like the chameleon and whip-snake. Some preserved organisms were on display so the scouts could see some rare species up close.

After the terrestrial session, the children walked to our local base beach, where our marine researchers were there to greet them with samples of the local marine life. Archipelagos’ Operations Manager Kleopatra Delaveri and the head of Archipelagos Terrestrial Research Team, Lisa Newth, showed some groups the birds of the area, while Head of Marine Research Valentina Costa had a variety of sea urchins and starfish for the scouts to see. Marine mammal expert Guido Pietroluongo provided the children information about various dolphins and whales, as well as giving them tips about the best way to enjoy nature without disturbing it.

Overall, this was a successful visit which allowed the scouts to better understand the incredible diversity of the North Aegean area. In addition to educating the kids about the unique wildlife here, Archipelagos hoped to spark an interest in the respectful enjoyment about the natural world, as well as develop a passion for the conservation of such life.

Emily Snieckus, University of Maine