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Volunteer in Thailand: Sea Turtle and Dugong Conservation Project

The Wild Animal Rescue Foundation of Thailand (WARF)

Street Address:
65/1 3rd Floor, Sukhumvit 55, Klongton, Wattana, Thailand
Locality:
Bangkok 10110
Region:
Thailand

Sea Turtle and Dugong Conservation Project

Country
Thailand
Locations
Ranong
Dates of Program
Flexible Dates
Group/Independent
Both (group and independent)
Age Restrictions
18 Years +
Project Review

In 2003 WARF established the Sea Turtle Conservation Project at Baan Talae Nork, in the Ranong Province of Thailand. Baan Talae Nork is a small, traditional fishing village, untouched by tourism, with 6km of pristine beach that was, until recently, a popular nesting area for turtles. However, in the 2002-2003 nesting season just three nests were found. The Sea Turtle Conservation Project aims to reduce threats to turtles along coastal beaches, before they disappear from the area altogether. The project's main goals are to monitor the beach for turtle nests, engage in local conservation education, and help with data collection. Working with the Ranong Coastal Resources Research Station, the project also looks after a number of turtles in captivity, and aims to release the turtles back into the sea where possible. In 2005-2006, we could protect 2 out of 5 nest found. The first nest that was protected (laid January 3rd) hatched after 63 days on March 7th at 3.15am. 85 hatchlings emerged in 3 batches, with a final hatchling hauled from the bottom of the nest after the nest was excavated. It was a very impressive hatchling success rate of 86 %. The second nest that was protected (laid January 12th) hatched after 59 days during the day on March 12th. This season (2006-2007) the project will be monitoring over 16km of beach to determine nesting turtle population and protect nests from poaching and predation. Mainly Leatherback turtles are thought to nest here. In 2007, due to the increasing threats to dugongs, WARF added another aspect to the existing project, creating the Sea Turtle and Dugong Research, Education and Conservation Project. The newly modified project now seeks to foster, promote, and support scientific research related to dugongs as well as sea turtles, with a focus on populations in Thailand where resources are currently limited. The project intends to facilitate meaningful exchange of information among scientists, students, regulatory agencies, NGOs, and concerned citizens. It will promote effective communication about science and conservation to diverse audiences in order to increase awareness. Within the community, the aim is to support conservation efforts by local people in Thailand and to provide scientific data to local decision makers concerned with dugong and sea turtle conservation.

Major Responsibilities

Research Objectives:

  • Work with local communities, mark and record the location of all nests and turtles seen along the coast of Baan Talae Nork
  • Protect nesting sites, if found, by close beach monitoring during the breeding season
  • Take steps to reduce the threat of sea turtle disappearance in the area by creating tools to assess the impact of fisheries, coastal development, and poaching on turtle populations.
  • Expand educational programs aimed at schools, local people, and tourists about conservation issues
  • Encourage sound and professional scientific research related to dugong and sea turtle populations by providing feedback, support, and possible funding advice
  • Support international network of existing dugong and sea turtle  researchers; provide a platform for the international exchange of ideas and information, accessible via the Internet
  • Promote inter-cultural exchange and foster enduring collaborative relationships between host countries and researchers
  • Provide internship opportunities for students and volunteers from both host and visiting countries; encourage respect for and consideration of the local knowledge in each study area, e.g. students, teachers, fishermen, tour operators, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), governmental agencies
Cost/Program Fee
Contact the Organization
What program fee Includes

The program fee covers:

  • Food and Accommodation
  • Travels made during the project

The program fee does not cover:

  • Your personal expenses
  • Expenses regarding your flights and
  • Visa Cost
Skills/ Qualifications

Skills and qualifications required:

  • Prospective volunteers must be flexible and should have the hunger to learn more
  • Should be communicative and a social person
  • Should have leadership qualities
Arrangements for Room/Food

Room: Volunteers can stay within the site of volunteering. Maximun of 12 volunteers can be accommodated there. Besides, Volunteers can also stay in hotels with minimal charge.

Food: Food in Thailand is good, varied, relatively cheap and easily available. Also the accommodation offers the possibility for preparing food together with the other volunteers. Restaurants, small cafeteria offers a good opportunity to order breakfast or lunch. Alcoholic drinks are expensive. Drinking unboiled water is not to be recommended. Drink only bottled water from bottles with a crown cork.

Any Missing Important Information

Passport & Visa: To visit Thailand you need a valid passport. A visa is required. Please check with the Thai Embassy in your country or your national volunteer agency to determine what is required and how you can obtain the necessary documents. For long term volunteers a non-immigrant visa with a three-month validity is required. Your booking agent will supply you with a letter for visa support for the Thai embassy. For volunteers staying longer than three months, they will have to renew their visa in Thailand. The WARF Foundation will assist you in doing so.

The Wild Animal Rescue Foundation of Thailand (WARF) 's other programs in Thailand