Type: Environment & Wildlife Conservation, Humanitarian & Community Development , IT & Journalism,
Organisation: WorkingAbroad Projects
Volunteer with sea turtles and join this programme to take part in marine and turtle conservation work involving research and monitoring of nesting turtles, education and outreach as well as turtle rehabilitation all throughout the year in Watamu, Kenya. The project was featured in the last episode of a 6 part BBC documentary series, Africa, featuring Sir David Attenborough.
The Watamu Turtle Programme was formed in 1997 to continue and further develop the marine turtle conservation efforts of Barbara Simpson, a local naturalist, which she had been undertaking in the Watamu area since the 1970's. It is a registered community based organisation, and works in close co-operation with the Kenya Sea Turtle Conservation Committee (KESCOM), of which it is a member, as well as the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS). The organisation is committed to the protection of turtles and the marine environment, through hands-on conservation, research, education and campaigning. The involvement of local communities is an essential part of the project with the aim of making it sustainable for the future.
This project offers the opportunity to volunteer with sea turtles in Kenya and take part in a variety of different sea turtle conservation related projects, as listed below. We are happy to discuss each area of work with you and are also open to your suggestions and welcome students with research ideas.
1. Sea Turtle Conservation Volunteer Work & Research - Beach patrols, marine patrols, nest excavations, assisting with sea turtle net releases and research and turtle rehabilitation.
2. Other sea turtle conservation volunteer/research work: - Poaching surveys, Mangrove seedling collection and replanting, GPS mapping, Beach surveys, Beach clean ups, Movement pattern research of turtles in Mida Creek, Mida Creek survey and Crab catching.
3. Education & awareness - Signage, Assisting the development and running of the Local Ocean Marine Centre, Displays in our marine centre are periodically changed and we would love your input in designing these, Awareness Days.
4. Community development - Developing ideas for fishing community members to generate alternative incomes to current unsustainable marine resource exploitation, Local crafts activity and community development work, Improved awareness and practice in recycling and composting.
5. General - Fundraising events, links with international schools, local craft designs etc., Languages and help with translations.
You can take part in the Watamu Sea Turtle Watch programme throughout the year as the By-Catch release programme operates the whole time with anywhere between 10 and 90 turtles being released from fishing nets per week. The Rehabilitation centre also operates all year round but is particularly busy during August and November / December. The peak nesting season is from May to August but occasionally we get turtles nesting throughout the year.
As volunteers, you will be supervised on all of the projects by a resident volunteer co-ordinator who will be there to train and guide you throughout your time on the project. You will also receive orientation and proper training at the beginning of the project.
All volunteers must be dedicated and self motivated. Accommodation is provided in a volunteer house at Watamu. Volunteers must pay GBP 580 for 2 weeks; this covers the housing costs, all food and makes a contribution towards the project costs. Opportunities available all year round.
The Coombe, Spring Barn Farm
Lewes BN7 3ND
Telephone 1: +44 1273 479 047
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