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Boat Run Aground

Price: £569.25 (including 15 % tax)

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Zakynthos, the southernmost of the Ionian Islands and the second largest in area, is situated 10 miles (16 km) off the shore of the Peloponnesus. It takes its name from the abundant wild hyacinths that grow there. One part of the island features imposing chalky cliffs, lined with white gypsum, which have crumbled away—from the effects of erosion and several earthquakes, the most serious of which occurred in 1953—forming beaches of fine sand. These beaches are favourite egg-laying sites of loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta). However, boat propellers, pollution, urbanization, and tourism, have reduced the numbers of sea turtles that come to Zakynthos from nearly 2,000 at the end of the 1980s to fewer than 1,000 a decade later. Conservation measures and public awareness campaigns since 1981 are just starting to bear fruit. A few endangered species, including sea turtles, become emblems and benefit from ambitious protection programs. However, one-fourth of the earth’s mammal species and one-eighth of all bird species are threatened with extinction today.

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