Sri Lanka : Sea Turtle Conservation Project

Opportunity to contribute towards a globally recognized, ethical, sustainable and high quality animal conservation project protecting one of nature’s oldest and most important marine species – sea turtles! Experience the best of tropical life in southern Sri Lanka while making a real impact by contributing positively to conservation activities designed to preserve these endangered species.
All year round (Starts every Friday, Min. 7 Days)
Full Day

About the Program

program overview Overview

The beaches of Sri Lanka’s south western coastline have been a sanctuary for sea turtle nesting activities for several centuries. Unfortunately, factors such as excessive commercial fishing and poaching of turtle eggs by humans and other predators (dogs, monitor lizards, etc.) have resulted in their numbers dwindling significantly over the past few decades, making them an endangered species in this part of the world.

Sea turtles are often referred to as keystone species, which means they are an irreplaceable part of the marine environment and have a significant influence on other marine species around them. If a keystone species is removed from a habitat, the natural order is disrupted, which negatively impacts other wildlife and fauna in various ways. Sea turtles have played vital roles in maintaining the health of the world’s oceans for more than 100 million years, having outlived even dinosaurs. These roles range from maintaining productive coral reef ecosystems to transporting essential nutrients from the oceans to beaches/coastal dunes to maintaining the health of sea-grass beds and more.

program details Description
Course Schedule
During the
7 Days
Volunteers work in the turtle hatchery performing a range of hands-on tasks including feeding and cleaning the
turtles, preserving their eggs from predators by burying them in the dedicated hatching area, rehabilitating injured and disabled turtles, filling the tanks with fresh sea water to mimic their natural environment, keeping the hatchery clean and other tasks as necessary.
Dedicated for beach clean-ups to provide safe and clean nesting sites for the turtles. Volunteers work in groups carefully segregating plastic, glass and organic waste, which are then given to the local authorities for disposal or for
recycling purposes. This project rotates around different beaches in and around the Galle and Unawatuna areas, thereby increasing the reach and scope of this initiative.
Dedicated to special activities, which can differ from week to week. These include educating rural communities (e.g., children, women, monks, etc.) on turtle and marine conservation, building signage and awareness campaigns for the
local public, assisting with recycling education efforts, building eco-friendly products that help preserve the ecosystem and special site visits to assist with, or spread awareness towards, various conservation efforts.
During the main nesting season (November-May), night patrolling camps are done every two weeks where groups spend the night on the beach (tents are provided) with the hope of watching mother turtles hatch their eggs and preserving them from human and animal poachers. All of these activities together make the project unique and one of-a-kind in Sri Lanka, and it has a longer-lasting, wider ranging and more sustainable effect on the well- being of sea turtles in our community.
Logistics

Program Manager provides detailed introduction and culture training on arrival. Area orientation tour provided within 1-2 days of arrival. The turtle project coordinator provides project-specific training and guides volunteers on all project activities. The turtle hatchery team is actively involved in providing guidance and direction during the time the volunteers spend there. Beach cleaning and community teaching work are organized by the project coordinator in conjunction with local authorities (local government + schools). Every single activity is managed, guided and supported by AASHA’s experienced local team. Local
transportation to and from the project is also included each day.

Accommodation

Participants will stay in a 4 storey, 11 bedroom tropical villa located on a hill overlooking the Indian Ocean less than 100 metres from the popular Unawatuna beach. It includes an outdoor swimming pool, organic garden, lush surrounding greenery, sweeping balconies with ocean views, solar heating panels, all equipped with strong safety and security features. Rooms are generally shared but participants have the option to upgrade to private single, double and air-conditioned rooms should they choose.

Location of Projects

The main turtle hatchery is located in Galbokka (about an hour from the volunteer house); beach cleaning and special activities are done across various locations in Galle and Unawatuna (all within 5-15 min of our volunteer house).

Click here to view a tour of the Hatchery.

Inclusions
  1.  Accommodation
  2.  Full Board Meals
  3.  Transport to the Project location
  4.  Program Director
  5.  Travel Insurance – AIG (Click here to view details)
  6.  MISVI Sri Lanka – People’s Insurance (Click here to view details)
  7.  Activities and Workshops
  8.  Mandatory Gratuities Applicable Taxes
  9.  Quarantine for 1-2 days in approved hotel including 1 PCR test and Covid insurance (Click here to view approved hotel)
  10.  Airport Transfer
Exclusions
  1.  Flights and Visa Service (Available on request)
  2.  Meals outside of itinerary
  3.  Room service
  4.  Service Tips
  5.  Laundry and Personal Expenses
Covid-19 Regulations

Click here to view Covid-19 regulations as published by the Ministry of Health, Sri Lankan Tourism Development Authority

student takeways Student Takeaways

 

Certificate of Completion

Letter of Recommendation

Soft skills and Global Awareness

Hear from our explorers

About Our Partner

AASHA, is a Sri Lanka-based social enterprise and responsible travel company that offers a range of sustainable volunteering programs across education, healthcare and animal welfare. Founder, Amit Sondhi, created AASHA with a vision of marrying his passions of travel, discovery, cultural exchange, sustainable development, environment preservation and helping communities in need.

 

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