Wildlife conservation and community 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

  • Olive Ridley Sea Turtle Volunteer Programme, Costa Rica

    • Duration 2 -12 weeks
    • Prices from £685

    Volunteer in Costa Rica and become a sea turtle volunteer, helping to conserve and protect the populations of vulnerable Olive Ridleys. Located on the spectacular Pacific coast where Olive Ridley turtles come up in thousands at a time for this phenomenon of nature called ‘arribadas’.

  • Ocean Spirits Leatherback Sea Turtle Volunteer Project, Grenada

    • Duration 2 - 12 Weeks
    • Prices from £1169

    Volunteer in the Caribbean as a Research Assistant and take part in leatherback sea turtle monitoring, research, and community outreach programmes on the island of Grenada.

  • Blue Lagoon Coral Reef Project, Mauritius

    • Duration 2 weeks to 3 months
    • Prices from £1095

    Volunteer in Mauritius in the Indian Ocean and take part in a coral reef monitoring and marine conservation volunteer and internship programme, which includes coral reef farming and restoration, lagoon monitoring and sea turtle research in the beautiful Blue Bay Marine Park.

  • Nature’s Valley Internship Programme, South Africa

    • Duration 8 to 12 weeks
    • Prices from £1795

    Gain hands on Conservation, Education and Ecological Research experience in South Africa and help protect Nature’s Valley.

  • Galapagos Conservation Volunteers

    • Duration 2 to 12 Weeks
    • Prices from £1465

    Volunteer on a range of wildlife conservation and environmental projects on Isabela island, Galapagos. Join a dynamic team of volunteers and local staff while supporting the unique ecosystem of the Galapagos islands.

  • Playa Tortuga Conservation Volunteer Project, Costa Rica

    • Duration 1 week to 6 months
    • Prices from £470

    Volunteer in Costa Rica and live and work in a biological research station and take part in sea turtle, butterfly, caiman, crocodile, tree boa, monkey and mammal research and environmental education. Coral reef restoration option available too.

  • Statia Conservation Volunteer Project, St. Eustatius, Caribbean

    • Duration 8-12 Weeks
    • Prices from £180

    Volunteer in the Caribbean on the stunning island of St. Eustatius, in the Dutch Antilles, overlooking St. Kitts in the Caribbean Sea

  • Ocean Research Conservation Project, South Africa

    • Duration 1 week - 10 months
    • Prices from £635

    Volunteer with dolphin, seal and whale research in South Africa. Take part in marine conservation, penguin rescue and educational projects along the South African coast.

  • Coral Reef Restoration & Diving Project, Bali

    • Duration 1 - 8 Weeks
    • Prices from £755

    Join our reef restoration mission in Bali! Empower local communities to bring new life to the northeast coast. As part of this reef restoration programme, help construct and deploy artificial reefs, dive up to 8 times a week to monitor progress, and be a part of restoring the beauty of Bali’s reefs.

  • Watamu Sea Turtle Volunteer Project, Kenya

    • Duration 2 Weeks+
    • Prices from £980

    An opportunity to take part in Kenya sea turtle conservation involving research and monitoring, working at a turtle rehabilitation centre and protecting nesting sites along the Watamu Coastline.

  • Maldives Island Volunteer Project

    • Duration 1-12 Weeks
    • Prices from £1695

    Volunteer in the Maldives and join our sea turtle conservation, coral reef restoration and medical projects within the tropical island of Naifaru, the capital of the Lhaviyani Atoll.  We also offer a student vet programme and a family sea turtle eco programme too.

  • Coral Reef Conservation & Diving Project, Thailand

    • Duration 2 - 12 Weeks
    • Prices from £1295

    Join a marine and coral reef conservation project on Koh Phangan island in Thailand’s Samui archipelago. A great opportunity for students looking to gain diving and scientific research experience in a stunning tropical setting and kickstart a career in marine conservation.

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 a 3-5 month period each year. 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. 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! Click the image above to watch a clip to see the first 2 minutes of a baby hatchling’s life at our Sea Turtle Conservation Volunteer Project in Greece.

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.