This Project works towards preventing the extinction of sea turtles, a critically endangered species. You will help in the rehabilitation and release back into the sea of turtles that are usually victims of commercial fishing. You’ll assist in treating injured and sick sea turtles, protecting nests, and rescuing eggs so that they can be hatched without incident in the safety of our hatchery.
Many turtles fall victim to the practices of commercial fishing and are in need of veterinary care. Also, protecting nests and rescuing eggs to bring to the safety of our hatchery, are daily activities where our volunteers make a substantial difference. This work is based at our centre on the beach near Ambalangoda, in the southern part of the island, in an area where most tourists are denied access.
Your work here will be exceptionally varied, but also immensely interesting and rewarding, especially when you witness the release of a turtle back to the sea, often after many months of care. However, before we reach that stage there is much work to be done, work that is often far from glamorous, but it does have its plus side, in that you are doing it in what must be one of the most beautiful spots in Sri Lanka, if not the world.
The schedule is subject to change according to the needs of the turtles, weather conditions, holidays, the time of year, etc. Basically, you’ll work with the Coordinator at the project where you can learn about, and take part in, the following:
- The collection of eggs
- Identifying different kinds of turtles
- Hatching of the eggs
- Treatment for injured and sick turtles
- Feeding the turtles
- Cleaning of the turtle tanks
- Cleaning the turtles
- Releasing turtles into the sea
- Explaining about the turtles to visitors
- You’ll also get the chance to learn about sea plants.
We often run ‘Awareness Camps’ for groups of tourists who make a special trip to this area to see our work. While you’re with us, you’ll gain the expertise to enable you to assist in some of the instruction.
We also work closely with many local and international conservation partners and regularly collect data to ensure our efforts are having the results we desire, and you will also be part of this data collection process.
If you volunteer for longer than one month, you’ll also learn about the tree plantation, another area where your work can have a big long term impact.
All accommodation is included during your stay on our program within the schedules/ itineraries provided. Living is comfortable and all volunteer houses and home stays have electricity and running water.
Wi-Fi / Internet: Wi-Fi / Internet is not available, however there are internet cafés available close to the volunteer house and in the city.
FOOD: Meals will be provided three times a day during the week and twice during the weekend (breakfast and lunch combine to become brunch during the weekend). Breakfast is self-service with toast, fruits, tea and coffee. Sri Lankan foods include roti bread, dal (Lentil Soup) and curries, vegetables, salads, milk and yogurt. Meat is rarely eaten, except on festive occasions.
Weekends are free to relax, and to explore the local area.
WHAT YOU’LL GAIN FROM DOING THIS PROJECT
- An exciting opportunity to travel, see the world and experience this amazing Asian culture first-hand!
- New skills, more confidence and invaluable personal and professional development.
- An in-depth understanding of marine wildlife rehabilitation and the important contribution it is making to their conservation and protection.
- An opportunity to take a break from the traditional academic track or your current career path in order to gain life experience and global cultural awareness
- An entry on your CV or Résumé that will enhance your career opportunities and make you stand out from the crowd.
- Make friends, form relationships and build memories that will last a lifetime.
- Opportunities to enjoy some exciting adventure and cultural activities while on your programme.
- And best of all … an unforgettable experience!