6 Options to Volunteer with Turtles
Are you looking to volunteer with turtles? Here are some options for you!
- KIDO Foundation, The Caribbean
- EcOceánica, Peru
- Latin American Sea Turtles, Costa Rica
- Tortugas de Pacuare, Costa Rica
- Equipo Tora Carey, Costa Rica
- Katelios Group, Greece
Where: The Caribbean
The KIDO Foundation, established in 1995, monitors and protects critically endangered nesting sea turtles (Hawksbills & Leatherbacks) and their habitats, carries on youth environmental education and conservation practices, and trains turtle/nature local guides.
Their goal is to preserve the natural ecosystems, fauna, and flora; encourage sustainable development through conservation activities involving as well as educating youths; promote eco-tourism and social advancement of women
KIDO is looking for volunteers who will actively participate in the monitoring and data-collection of 2 critically endangered sea turtle species, Leatherback and Hawksbill, which nest on 3 different beaches on the Island. These activities will help reduce the illegal poaching of turtles and eggs.
EcOceánica is an NGO working to promote and contribute to the conservation and sustainability of marine ecosystems in the Southeast Pacific by the integration of scientific research, sustainable management, environmental education and outreach, and inter-institutional collaboration. EcOceánica was founded in 2009 by four biologists with a long experience in marine conservation and applied research. Its current staff is composed of a multidisciplinary group of professionals including biologists, social communicators, environmental educators, fisheries engineers, chemical engineers among others
EcOceánica is looking for help with beach and aquatic surveys in coastal areas for scientific purpose, environmental education activities in schools and festivals, help with interviews with fishermen to gather fisheries information. Maintenance of the different project databases.
3. Latin American Sea Turtles
Where: Costa Rica
The Latin American Sea Turtles vision is to realize a future where all inhabitants of the Costa Rican coasts, human and sea turtle alike, can live together in balance; where healthy populations of sea turtles fulfill their ecological roles and economic potential; and critical natural habitats are sustainably managed.
They are a member of WIDECAST, an international scientific network with country coordinators resident in more than 40 countries and territories of the Wider Caribbean Region. Our field teams are integrated by local assistants with unparalleled experience in sea turtle research and conservation, people with vast experience working with volunteers and environmental enthusiasts developing creative strategies to avoid the extinction of these species.
Volunteers assist their biologist with data collection of endangered leatherback turtles. Volunteers will patrol the beach at night time looking for nesting turtles, in order to protect and relocate the nests and take information from the turtle. Once the eggs hatch volunteers are responsible for collecting information from the babies before releasing them.
Where: Costa Rica
Costa Rica has many of the most important beaches in the world for turtle nesting. The government protects some areas, especially national parks, but many important beaches for turtles are unprotected. For this reason, Tortugas de Pacuare started this project. With the help of volunteers around the world, they have been working and saving turtles for more than 12 years now! Without the help of the volunteers, protecting these wonderful animals wouldn’t be possible.
The volunteer work with turtles involves conducting night patrols with local guides, collecting turtle eggs, and relocating the eggs to a turtle hatchery where they will be safe from poachers.
Other work includes beach cleaning, recycling plastic, teaching Spanish at the local school, working in the greenhouse of the school.
Where: Costa Rica
Equipo Tora Carey (ETC) is a non-governmental organization (NGO). ETC is uniquely composed of academic biologists, fishermen and local tourism operators who have the common objective to achieve a sustainable development of marine resources and habitats through the involvement of science, education and responsible tourism. Since ETC operates in a fishing community, conservation and preservation of marine resources often create topics of conflict that have to be solved, but in a slow, progressive and efficient manner. In their belief, science and the direct involvement of fishermen and their families in data collection and analysis provides the baseline to understand the need for management actions and improvement.
Volunteers are assisting their local research assistants in monitoring endangered marine wildlife and habitats, i.e. nightly sea turtle monitoring, in-water monitoring of rays, turtles, reefs and seagrass, maintenance of research material, samples and databases, parrot counting, preparing materials and classes for their weekly environmental education classes and teaching English classes at the local school.
The Katelios Group is a local non-profit environmental group that has been established in the Kefalonia island (GREECE) in 1993. The philosophy of the Katelios Group is the search for solutions for co-existence between humans and the nature through sustainable development in order to support both the economy from the natural environment and the preservation of quality of life in Kefalonia. The main objective of the Group is the conservation of sea turtles (Caretta caretta) in Katelios-Mounda Bay and the research of the coastal area and the habitats of the main nesting population.
Volunteers main projects include protection of the marine turtles (Caretta caretta), distributing leaflets to inform locals and tourists, design posters to help in promoting the protection of marine turtles C. caretta, undertaking planting to protect the nesting beaches from artificial light and noise, removing litter from the nesting beaches and more.
Written by Alyssa Abel, an experiential education writer who talks about study abroad, student opportunities and life experiences. Follow her work on her blog, Syllabusy. The current pandemic might have you even more motivated to volunteer, but stuck inside, you’re probably concerned you won’t be able to keep making a difference. Luckily, there’s an online […]
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While we are all staying safe at home watching these heartwarming videos of dolphins in the Venice canals, a darker story is unraveling in Costa Rica. Several species of sea turtles come to Costa Rican beaches to hatch and nest every year. Local conservation organizations, such as Latin America Sea Turtles (LAST), work tirelessly to […]
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