leovolunteer
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Sea Turtle Conservation

Help protect turtle eggs from human poaching and natural predators, watch the baby turtles hatch and release them into the big blue!

Sea Turtle Conservation

Help protect turtle eggs from human poaching and natural predators, watch the baby turtles hatch and release them into the big blue!

Sri Lanka's Southern coastline has many beaches which are prime nesting sites for endangered turtles. Five of the seven species of sea turtle visit the shores near Kosgada to lay their eggs, including Green, Leatherback and Olive Ridley turtles. Unfortunately, turtles are under threat from human activity - many get tangled in fishing nets and lines, some are injured or killed by propellers and boats, many ingest plastic and die from bloackages within their digestive systems and poachers comb the beaches to steal eggs for food. Eggs on the beach are also at risk from natural predators such as dogs, birds and iguanas. It is imperative that we protect these incredible creatures that have been on this planet for 220 million years.

 

A Typical Day

 

After an early breakfast, you will visit the local authorities to collect any turtle eggs which have been handed in by fishermen or confiscated from poachers. Once back at the hatchery, you will bury the eggs in sand and create a record detailing the type and number of eggs. You will also need to keep an eye out for any new hatchlings that have emerged overnight.

The hatchery cares for a number of injured turtles and has a rehabilitation programme for those that are able to be released back into the ocean. In the morning you will prepare the turtles’ food and encourage them to feed themselves, which is vital for a successful release. Those that are unable to feed themselves require moving to a separate feeding tank and hand fed.

After lunch the tanks have to be cleaned, which involves a lot of vigorous scrubbing before pumping in fresh sea water! The beaches of Kosgada are prime nesting sites and volunteers are encouraged to participate in afternoon beach cleans to keep the area safe for nesting turtles.

At sunset you will release the hatchlings into the ocean from the same beach their mother visited to lay her eggs. This is a truly magical and unforgettable experience.

After a rest and dinner at the volunteer house, you will join the project staff for night patrol on the beach. Here you may have the privilege of witnessing turtles laying their eggs under the moonlight. If practical the nests will be secured and made safe from poachers and animals. However, sometimes it is necessary to transport the eggs to the hatchery for reburial.

This project is hard work, but seeing the hatchlings race for the surf makes it all worth while.

Accommodation and Food

The volunteer house is located at the project site in Kosgada. Rooms are shared with other volunteers of the same gender. All bunk beds have clean mosquito nets and the linen is changed weekly. We have western style toilets, a washing machine and wifi.

  • Breakfast is typically a selection of local fruit, toast, eggs, tea and coffee.
  • Lunch is local vegetables cooked in Sri Lankan style, served with rice, with optional fish and eggs. 
  • Dinner is a choice of Sri Lankan Hoppers, String Hoppers, Kothu or Noodles.
  • We happily cater for volunteers with specific dietary requirements.

 

Sea Turtle Conservation

What's Included

  • Pre-departure support from our staff, via phone or email.
  • A starter pack with information about the project and Sri Lanka.
  • Airport pick up.
  • Local orientation.
  • Accommodation (7 nights a week).
  • 3 meals a day (Monday to Friday). 
  • Onsite project coordinator.
  • 24hr in-country support.

Project Location

Kosgoda is a small town located 72km south of Colombo, easily accessible by public transport. Sri Lanka's southern coastline is famous for its idyllic beaches with dazzling white sands and luscious emerald forests. Here you can while away your free time, swimming, snorkelling, scuba diving, surfing, sunbathing or even take a boat trip from Mirissa to watch blue whales - the best spot in the world to do so! 

The main draw of Kosgoda are the sea turtles who visit this stretch of coastline to lay their eggs. There are a number of turtle hatcheries in the area, which allow visitors to learn about the turtles, why they are endangered and understand the negative impact of human activity. If visitors have time to volunteer they will be rewarded with the chance to get close to these incredible creatures and witness hatchlings being released into the ocean. 

 

Project fees

We have ethically and honestly priced our placements without compromising on the volunteer experience.

1 week £400

2 weeks £650

Additional weeks £250


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Apply Now

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