Volunteer with Sea Turtles
Join a Conservation & Environment project that allows you to volunteer with sea turtles to help us protect this endangered marine species. We offer volunteer projects with turtles in three destinations abroad, including Mexico, Belize, and Thailand. By joining a project with sea turtles, you will contribute with physical work and research that is important in making sure this marine species is protected, and recovers to natural populations.
Nearly all sea turtle species are endangered. In most situations, human activity has caused a decrease in population numbers, as a result of reduced access to natural habitats.
Habitat loss is mainly caused by:
- Human development
- Poaching for meat, eggs, shells, and leather
- Being caught in fishing nets
- Marine pollution
- Climate change
Sea turtles are essential to maintain balance in marine ecosystems, so by protecting this species, you will be conserving a much bigger network of marine life.
Choose a Project to Volunteer with Sea Turtles
On our Sea Turtle and Coastal Conservation Project in Mexico, you can work at a turtle conservation center in Cuyutlan. At the center, you will be actively involved in a variety of activities both research based and practical.
Some of your activities can see you:
- Collect turtle eggs during night patrols along the beach
- Re-bury the eggs at a protected enclosure at the conservation center
- Monitor the relocated eggs
- Release baby hatchlings onto the beach in a protected area, so that they can enter the sea safely
- Clean turtle tanks
- Look after adult sea turtles, including feeding them and measuring and weighing them once a month
- Research reasons behind poaching of nests.
Although there are turtles in Mexico all year round, the busiest portion of the year is from July to December. September is usually the best month to see turtle hatchlings and is therefore our busiest month. There are few things as rewarding as witnessing baby sea turtle hatchlings taking their first tiny steps across the beach to the freedom and safety of the ocean. By joining our team in Mexico during the right time of the year, you too can have this unforgettable experience.
Our Diving & Marine Conservation Project in Belize is another of our programs where you can work with sea turtles. This project involves work around the famous Belize Barrier Reef. Your main role as a volunteer in Belize is to protect the reef and the many species of sea creatures that live off the reef, including sea turtles. The Belize Barrier Reef has in recent years experienced large coral bleaching events, leaving the reef extremely vulnerable to disease, which could see large portions of the reef die. If the reef dies, all living organisms that live off of it will have no habitat security and food sources.
In Belize, you will monitor the location of turtle nests and the number of turtles in certain protected areas.
The Diving & Marine Conservation Project in Thailand that we offer involves work that focuses on general marine conservation. On this project, volunteers conduct work that protects marine ecosystems, including beach and ocean clean-ups, coral reef survey dives, and reforestation of mangroves. While conducting survey dives, you will be able to collect data in one of the most beautiful and diverse dive locations in the world. Sea turtles are among the sea creatures you can admire, and importantly, collect data on.
On the first Friday of every month, conservation volunteers in Thailand will get to work at the Phuket Marine Biological Center, where you will get the opportunity to work hands-on with sea turtles. Your main activity will be to clean their tanks, but you will also spend time caring for hatchlings and feeding the turtles.
Animal Safety and Well-being while volunteering
We are fully committed to the well-being of all the animals that we work with on our projects. Because of this, we have specific conditions and policies in place to ensure that none of our projects are connected to animal cruelty in any form, and that there are long-term and sustainable goals for each project.
If are interested to volunteer with animals, we recommend you visit our Animal Safety and Well-being While Volunteering page, to read more about our policies.
Education is a vital part of marine conservation. During your time on a volunteer project working with turtles, you will help raise awareness around the importance of marine conservation and protecting sea turtles in the community where you are placed. In this way you will make sure that you will have a lasting impact, and will ensure that you equip local communities with the information they need to continue the efforts of protecting our oceans.