Wildlife conservation, community and environmental volunteer projects and internships worldwide

Volunteer with Turtles & Reptiles

"During my stay, I had the opportunity to feed the tortoises at the breeding center, to see the birth of baby tortoises and even to measure them. I also really enjoyed my free afternoons to visit the islands, to go on excursions around the island and to simply relax on the beach."

Sandrine Brunet, Switzerland

Reptiles have an incredible old world mysticism about them and, given that they’re a group of species that have been around for around 315 million years, it’s no surprise why.  The major groups of reptiles are the turtles (Testudines), lizard-like tuatara  (Rhynchocephalia), lizards and snakes (Squamata) and crocodiles (Crocodylia or Crocodilia). Because reptiles do not have feathers or fur to keep themselves warm and because they cannot sweat or pant to keep cool, they seek out sun or shade according to what they may need.  Reptiles lifespans can be remarkably long.  For example, large tortoises, like the Aldabra tortoise, can live for more than 150 years.  Reptiles are also extremely helpful as natural pest control, many lizards control insects in homes and gardens and snakes are major predators of rodents.  Yet species continue to be killed out of fear and many are hunted and killed for their shells or for their leather.  In addition to conservation action, there is much need for re – education and a new appreciation for the wonderful creatures.  We offer many programmes where you can volunteer with sea turtles, giant tortoises, caimans and crocodiles and snakes all around the world and play a part in protecting these magnificent species.

Our Projects with Turtles & Reptiles

Basic Facts

Basic Facts

Turtles are largely omnivores, surviving often on a combination of land and water based sustenance.  Some species, like the snapping alligator turtle, also eat snakes, frogs, clams, crayfish and even other turtles.  In terms of reproduction, while in captivity turtles can mate all year round but in the wild this is often confined to between March and June.  The gestation period is between 6-10 weeks depending on the species and at the end of this turtles travel onto land to lay their eggs. The nests can have on average, around 110 eggs, though this can vary between 70 and 190 depending on the species.  Some species, like the flatback turtle, only lay up to 50 eggs at a time.  Turtles may often strike you as old creatures, for instance, scientists say that leatherback sea turtles that you can volunteer with in Grenada, have been around since the time of the dinosaurs!

Did You Know?

Did You Know?

  • Turtles reach the age to mate at different times? Some come of age as young as a few years old, while others don’t reach sexual maturity until around 50 years has passed.
  • The temperature of the sand affects the sex of the turtle? The perfect beach temperature produces an equal number of male and female offspring, however a higher temperature results in the birth of more females.
  • Crocodiles are more closely related to birds than they are to lizards?
  • Female turtles return to the same nesting area or beach where they were born to lay eggs, even if they have been away for 30 years after being born there.
Conservation Threats

Conservation Threats

Like many marine species, pollution and climate change pose serious threats to the turtles.  For example warmer water temperatures can alter the sex of offspring – increasing the percentage of female eggs.  In addition various types of turtles are poached for commercial reasons including sale of their meat and use of their shells for goods. Other reptiles, like crocodiles, also face serious threat of poaching for the acquisition of leather and various reptiles are used for medical testing. All reptiles struggle, like most species, with increasing habitat destruction and an overall lack of concern with conservation efforts from various societies.

We offer you the chance to volunteer with sea turtles and other reptiles in various part of the world, and to play your part in helping to protect them and their habitats.