Zakynthos

I am off to Zakynthos on thursday for 2 weeks (4-18), not a herping trip but a holiday with my girlfriend. However apart from our stay in a very touristy resort we will be spending three nights in an apartment in the beautiful hillsides at Gerakas, which may allow me to find some interesting species whilst walking around as I did here previously. The last time I was on this Greek Island in 2005 I was able to find quite a number of species thanks to ideal weather and herping being the sole purpose of the trip. At the very least I hope this subsequent holiday will allow me to see some Hermann’s Tortoises (Testudo hermanni) a species I am very familiar with but one that was missing from my list last time around on Zakynthos, and maybe even the Loggerhead Sea Turtles (Caretta caretta). Temperatures are already 31C which is very hot for the beginning of June, so any chance that comes my way for searching will be done in the early morning or late evening hours when animals are more likely to be on the move. Furthermore, Zakynthos has an endangered population of European Pond Terrapin (Emys orbicularis) at just one locality, so if time permits maybe I will also visit this area.

Caratta caratta nesting beach

The nesting beach for Loggerhead Sea Turtles (Caretta caretta) at Gerakas, photo taken during my last trip to Zakynthos in May 2005

By Matt Wilson

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