Volunteer with us on a turtle conservation project in Sri Lanka and help a local team protect five endangered species of turtle. Sri Lanka is home to the Hawksbill, Green, Loggerhead, Olive Ridley and Leatherback varieties of turtle which are highly sought after. The area is a nesting ground for these species, so the aims of the project are protecting the breeding grounds and monitoring turtle activities in the Indian ocean, on Sri Lanka’s beautiful coastline. The demand for turtle meat, eggs and turtle shells is growing. Turtle meat is seen as an aid to fertility, the shells to decorate hair combs, and the eggs as an aphrodisiac therefore the turtles are also under threat from the fishing industry. Often turtles are injured through becoming caught in fishing nets which remain untreated, as well as being food for other sea creatures.
The conservation and research centre employs 5 staff and the focus of their work is to protect these five species which are under threat from locals, tourists and export demands. The project rescues turtles, rears them and returns them to the sea at the appropriate time. Money from tourists that visit the project is used to fund the work of the organisation in building tanks, pumps, feeding turtles and paying staff. Spend your time volunteering with other marine enthusiasts and protect Sri Lanka’s endangered turtle population.
Why choose this project?
As the Turtle Conservation in Sri Lanka project only has 5 members of staff it really does need volunteer support to help with its activities. Poaching has increased and with bi products using their shells becoming popular the turtles are now classified as endangered. Volunteers who love the beach setting and are willing to share their interest in marine conservation will find this placement extremely rewarding as well as contributing to global efforts to protect these species.
Role of the volunteer
The project focuses on 3 main elements,; patrols to clean and protect the habitats, caring for the turtles and educating the local community to ensure that they understand the impact of fishing and farming of turtles. Specific activities in which volunteers may be involved include:
- protecting turtle nests through beach patrols and beach cleaning
- collecting turtle eggs to enable them to hatch in a safer environment
- caring for injured turtles (if needed)
- feeding turtles, releasing turtles back into the sea
- monitoring activities
- working with the local team to develop educational materials for local communities and tourists
- showing tourists around the centre
Volunteer shifts will fit in with the local team’s needs and may include some evening and night work as beach patrols are required at various times of the day as female turtles often lay their eggs at night.
Volunteers participating in this turtle conservation project in Sri Lanka will be expected to be physically fit, enjoy the outdoors and feel comfortable working as part of a team. You will be asked to send in your CV/Resume for this placement.
WHY JOIN THE PROJECT
To protect Sri Lanka’s endangered turtle population
Because you want to become a responsible global citizen through education
To spend your days at the beach
All volunteers stay in a volunteer house in Colombo on arrival and those on marine projects head to homestay accommodation on the coast the following day. Sri Lanka’s capital, has a stunning park opposite the town hall, an interesting museum and plenty of temples that are worth visiting.
You will be based on a beach location approximately 75 kilometres from, Sri Lanka’s capital city Colombo and approximately 20 kms from Galle a popular tourist destination. After sharing a delicious communal meal, spend your evenings chatting with other volunteers while watching the sunset. Galle is a great weekend destination with its old walls and streets or alternatively travel to Colombo on the weekend and visit the Museum of Natural History, the park, botanical gardens or the amazing Hindu and Buddhist temples. And for those of you who are happy to go further afield why not travel to Yala National Park, Anuradhapura or Kandy for a change of scenery from your beachfront project location.
Details & Costs
- Duration: 2 – 8 weeks
- Cost: £925/$1619 for 2 weeks
£175 / $306 for every extra week
- Requirements: age 17+
- Location: South Coast, Sri Lanka
- Project activities: preparing resources for lessons, beach clearing, caring for turtles, collecting turtle eggs, cleaning tanks
- Working hours: Shift work, Monday to Friday, 6 hours per day
- Project availability: All year round, projects close for ad hoc days when there are public holidays (there are a lot of public holidays in Sri Lanka so it is likely that the project will be closed for 1 day during your visit)
- Arrival day: Monday
What is included
- Accommodation: Shared bedroom with 3 beds in a simple local homestay, with mosquito nets, access to a flushing toilet, TV. Single occupancy (£130 / $228 per week) or twin occupancy (£65 / $114 per week) can be booked subject to availability.
- Food: 3 meals per day
- Airport pickup and drop off from Colombo International Airport
- Training: Pre-departure pack and project induction provided
- Orientation and 1st night overnight stay on arrival in Colombo
- Support: 24 hour support from on-site coordinator
What is not included
- Police/Government Background Check; US and UK citizens will be processed through Kaya (admin fee applies) all other nationalities must provide local police check.