Posts Tagged ‘sea turtle rescue’

Bright as Day–Leatherback Turtle Nesting

This is a rare occasion–just 2 days ago in Vieques, Puerto Rico, an endangered leatherback turtle was ashore laying her eggs in the daylight. This is pretty much an exclusively nocturnal activity, so even though conservationists have intervened, protected, and helped the struggling species for years…it is activity done by flashlight. This giant gal, it is supposed, was trying to get ashore to her nesting spot overnight but couldn’t make it. It is a fascinating sight as she flips sand back to cover her freshly laid eggs (and just as quickly, volunteers dig them back up to protect them and take them to a safer location for their gestation).

Turtle conservation is a popular volunteer opportunity, especially in Latin American equatorial regions, where several species nest. Many resorts in the Caribbean and mainland regions nearby have programs for guests to go out at night during egg laying, to help protect the eggs from natural and unnatural predators and threats, and also when the babies hatch and struggle across expanses of sand to make it to the (relative) safety of the surf. If you are vacationing this Spring Break (or springtime in general), check to see if the property where you are staying has volunteer opportunities–with turtles or any other options. Many hospitality businesses are rolling out guest opportunities to give back to the communities we visit. Just ask at the front desk, or the concierge, and turn your vacation into a voluntour.

Baby Sea Turtles Rockin the Gulf

Nature is pretty amazing. We keep hitting it with our best destructive shot trying to destroy the planet, and Mother Nature might be on the ropes, but she comes back out on top every time. We are overdue for some good news from the Gulf, and there actually is some. Since the BP oil disaster, wildlife officials have just declared the waters of the Gulf of Mexico safe for young sea turtles. The young hatchlings reside on the surface of the water, and since surface oil abatement has been most effective (not so much the dispersed and suspended oil, but surface cleanup is going pretty well), that level can again support life. Additionally, thousands of turtle eggs that were rescued from the spill zone beaches and relocated to Cape Canaveral are now hatching in strong numbers. Most of those hatchlings are being released in the Atlantic Ocean waters instead of the Gulf to maximize their chances of survival.

Barbara Schroeder, the national sea turtle coordinator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, helped plan the desperate rescue. This was an unprecedented effort designed to keep thousands of newly hatched turtles from swimming straight into the gulf’s toxic oil. Biologist, sea turtle specialist, and turtle “midwife” (as described in the St. Petersburg Times) Jane Provancha, said, “It’s not exactly cutting-edge science. It’s mostly just a dramatic conservation action. It’s probably the best action under the worst circumstances.”

Here is the link to CharityGuide and their volunteer opportunities for sea turtle rescue and conservation.

Here are the international volunteer and job listings from

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