WHAT DOES THE PROJECT DO?
Sea turtles have existed on earth for millions of years, and are a fascinating relic of prehistoric times. Unfortunately, they have suffered greatly at the hands of man, as a consequence of human infringement on their habitats. The coastal areas and ecosystems which turtles rely on to survive exist in a delicate balance, and must be managed carefully if population numbers are ever to recover. Problems can stem from the disturbance of nesting and foraging grounds, and effective strategies for their protection can only be instigated once a large amount of data is collected, which is why projects such as this are so vital. Turtles are often killed when they become entangled in commercial and recreational fishing nets, and this creates the need for rescue and rehabilitation centres for those that are injured in the process. Educating local communities is imperative if any real progress is to be made in preserving this gentle and unusual creature, in order to change attitudes and raise awareness of the importance of changing fishing practices to prevent turtle deaths.
WHAT WILL I BE DOING?
The work on this project is highly varied, challenging and enjoyable. You will be rotated so that you get the chance to participate in every aspect of the programme. A key element, depending on the time of year, will be sighting and capturing juvenile turtles so that data can be collected and analysed in order to inform future conservation strategies. You will also be carrying out beach patrols in order to find stranded turtles, and to help with the rescue and rehabilitation of sick and weak individuals. Other duties will include getting involved with the vital education programme in the local community, by running talks and workshops, and carrying out studies of the local fishing practices.
If this is your first time doing conservation work, don't worry! It will only take a short while for you to feel totally at home on camp and confident with the science work. Although the work is intense you'll find that living in such a beautiful and inaccessible environment alongside friends who share your passion for conservation will be the experience of a lifetime!