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Sea Turtle Conservation in Sri Lanka

Volunteer to help sae the sea turtles in Sri Lanka in a safe and supported project.

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What this project involves

The overall aim of this sea turtle conservation project is to monitor sea turtle activity and conserve the local nesting sites in the South of Sri Lanka. Within the sanctuary of the specially constructed hatchery, collected and rescued eggs can hatch safely away from predators, before being released into the sea at night-time. 

In order to protect the less able hatchlings, a certain number from each hatching group are kept back for a short period for ‘a head- start’ before release. The hatchery program is designed to maximise the number of hatchlings reaching the sea and surviving through the critical stages of their early life. Sadly, only a few from each batch will ever make it to adulthood.

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Turtles are under threat in Sri Lanka and volunteers are really needed to help out with conservation efforts. Fishing is one of the major industries in Sri Lanka and the location of the project is very close to the local fisheries port. Sea turtles are often found in fishing nets and many have lost limbs becoming disabled and are no longer able to survive in the wild. Many of these disabled turtles are found by local Sri Lankans who bring them to the project site for rehabilitation and care.

The programme aims to rehabilitate disabled turtles and protect turtle eggs that have been stolen by local poachers. Participants will learn how to collect eggs, identify different kinds of turtles, how eggs hatch, how to treat turtles, how to send turtles back to the sea and so much more.

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What volunteers will do

Volunteers will typically be working in the hatchery for the sea turtles (3-4 hours a day) that have been rescued and are now living in the project site – typical duties include;

  • Cleaning and refilling the turtle tanks with fresh sea water
  • Feeding the turtles 
  • Painting and drawing in and around the wall about turtles. 
  • Cleaning the project premises and the relevant beach area.
  • Take care of the nesting area
  • Cleaning the turtle’s shells.
  • Collecting turtle eggs and bringing them to a safe location for them to hatch (only seasonal) 
  • Re-releasing hatched baby turtles into the sea (dependant on number of hatchlings)
  • Taking the turtles out of their tanks to spend time with them on the beach
  • Vocational and public outreach- educating fishermen children, local schools and making tourists
    aware of turtles and protecting marine life
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