Looking to take on a great adventure of saving the sea turtles but don’t know where to start? Take a look at our list of top 10 sea turtle rescue projects from around the world.
1. Maldivian Sea Turtle Conservation Programme (MSTCP)
Five of the seven species of sea turtles can be found in the Maldives with the two most common being the Hawksbill and the Green Leatherback.
This government-endorsed program is concerned with three key areas of turtle conservation: the protection of turtle nests followed by assisted rearing; the rehabilitation of injured turtles; and photo identification techniques and satellite tracking.
2. Sri Lanka – Sea Turtle Rescue and Rehabilitation
If you’re looking to help save the sea turtles and are into walking the paths of Buddhist pilgrims and swim the tropical waters of the Indian Ocean, this may be the perfect sea turtle adventure for you.
As a volunteer, you’ll work in Ambalangoda, a beautiful town on the ocean where one of the main industries is fishing. Sadly, sea turtles often become caught in nets from fisherman and lose their limbs. Once disabled, these turtles cannot live in the wild, so many Sri Lankan’s rescue them and are able to move them to the project site where they can be cared for and rehabilitated.
3. Cozumel Marine Turtle Salvation Program
Cozumel plays host to thousands of sea turtles coming ashore to nest each year. During the nights of mid-May through mid-November, on the Eastern shore of the island, two species of sea turtles come ashore to lay their eggs. The bays and reefs of the Cozumel area are foraging areas where sea turtles such as Hawksbills and Giant Leatherbacks have been seen swimming offshore.
4. The Barbados Sea Turtle Project
The Barbados Sea Turtle Project is based at the University of the West Indies (Cave Hill Campus). For over 25 yeas, they have been involved in the conservation of the endangered marine turtle species that forage around and nest on Barbados through research, education and public outreach as well as monitoring of nesting females, juveniles and hatchlings.
They accept volunteers between May and November each year, usually for periods of 2-4 months.
5. Borneo Marine and Sea Turtle Conservation
This project focuses on protecting and replanting coral reefs but also plays a big part in sea turtle conservation.
6. South Carolina Sea Turtle Rescue Program
The South Carolina Sea Turtle Rescue Program focuses on helping injured sea turtles in partnership with the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources. When a sea turtle is found stranded or injured, SCDNR brings the animal to the Sea Turtle Hospital for treatment. Most turtles arrive at the hospital after suffering from bacterial or fungal infections, shock from being exposed to cold temperatures, or injury from a boat strike or shark bite.
7. Hawai’i Wildlife Fund
Hawai’i Wildlife Fund leads research, monitoring and conservation efforts to help protect Hawai’i’s fragile marine ecosystem.
They have been conducting research and monitoring the nesting activities of hawksbill sea turtles since 1996. The species is listed as endangered in Hawai’I and worldwide.
8. Ningaloo Turtle Program, Exmouth Australia
This program attracts local, national and international volunteers. Their main aim is to promote the long-term survival of turtle populations.
9. Sea Turtle Foundation, Australia
Sea Turtle Foundation is involved in several research projects to improve understanding of the sea turtle life cycle. They believe that the greater our knowledge of the sea turtle life cycle, the better able we will be about to reduce threats and implement effective management strategies.
10. Canadian Sea Turtle Network
The Canadian Sea Turtle Network is collaborative sea turtle conservation initiative involving scientists, commercial fishermen, tour boat operators and coastal community members.
About the Author
Lianne Raymond is a digital media editor and yogini with a great curiosity about the world and passion for storytelling. Her love of yoga, coffee and sunshine led her to Costa Rica where she volunteered at Blue Osa Yoga Retreat & Spa. Follow her musings on Twitter .