Vacancy: Greece Sea Turtle Conservation
Reference Number: GRT
Category: Conservation Projects (Conservation projects, Marine Conservation, Wildlife)
Cost : from £980
Greece provides an irresistible blend of a hot Mediterranean climate, fascinating ancient culture, and seas which are rich with marine life. Enjoy the chance to immerse yourself by camping out near the white sandy beaches whilst protecting one of Greece’s most charismatic sea creatures, the Loggerhead Sea Turtle.
In this project you'll live and work with other enthusiastic and energetic international volunteers to conserve and protect one of the most important loggerhead turtle nesting areas in the Peloponnese, Greece.
You will conduct daily monitoring surveys each morning to record nesting activity and help to protect turtle nests against predation by mammals and inundation by sea water, and work throughout the community to raise public awareness of this species.
Frontier works in collaboration with a local partner to provide you with the training required to complete this vital work, and the opportunity to help safeguard Greece’s exquisite wildlife and exceptional habitats for future generations.
- Hands on work to help monitor and relocate endangered sea turtle hatchlings
- Experience a laidback beach lifestyle
- Experience Greek culture and architecture first hand
- Volunteers must be over 18 years of age
- Applications must be received no less than 6 weeks in advance
WHAT DOES THE PROJECT DO?
You will be working closely with Frontier and a local Greek partner organisation that has been conducting vital research in this area of Greece since 1983. The project works with state agencies, local authorities and local fishermen in order to mitigate and reverse population reduction of sea turtles.
The Greek coastline is an important breeding area for the loggerhead sea turtle in the Mediterranean and the primary objective of the project has been to protect the sea turtles and their habitats in Greece through monitoring and research, developing and implementing management plans, habitat restoration, raising public awareness and rehabilitating sick and injured turtles.
Protecting loggerhead sea turtle nests against predation by mammals roaming the beaches and/or inundation by sea water on incoming tides ensures that as many hatchlings as possible are added to the global population each year. In addition to this, public awareness activities and environmental education days help and educate the local people to adopt friendlier attitudes towards the natural environment and gain a deeper understanding into the importance of conserving loggerhead turtles.
The data that is collected on this project not only contributes to national coastal management plans in Greece but also towards the international strategy for the global conservation of sea turtles.
WHAT WILL I BE DOING?
Your day to day duties will be dependant upon the current focus of the project at the time of your visit and the work is varied with all volunteers taking on different roles each day. You day could typically involve turtle egg collection, nest excavation, scientific monitoring and tagging of hatchlings and turtles, and educating visitors about the project. You could also get the opportunity to learn about marine flora and take part in organized beach clean-ups. Your days will be long but certainly rewarding.
During the first two weeks you’ll prepare for the oncoming nesting season and carry out beach clean ups. Day-to-day volunteers patrol beaches close to camp gathering valuable population data of the endangered marine turtles. During peak nesting season (mid May-mid August) tasks may include morning surveys to look for adult turtle tracks and locate nests, 'caging' or relocating threatened nests and night surveys to observe and tag nesting females. During hatching season (mid July- late October) you will look for baby turtle tracks, monitor hatching nests and tag adult female turtles during nesting. Your role in the excavations of hatched nests helps to determine the hatching success of the species.
You will be living in tents right next to the beach and the campsite has a number of facilities, including a restaurant, internet and telephone. In between shifts you will have plenty of time to relax on the campsite, enjoy the beach or explore the local area. You will also have one day off a week which varies depending on the work programme assigned to you by your Project Coordinator.