Research and conservation of sea turtles and marine ecosystems in Ecuador. The projects are based on research for conservation. We have been working with sea turtles since 2007. They also monitor the artisanal shark fisheries, identifying and measuring sharks and rays in order to monitor their status in the area.
The work consists of patrolling their nesting beaches (by night during the nesting season and in the mornings all year round) to take data of nesting females and to protect or relocate the nests when needed. We also monitor and capture juvenile sea turtles in-water, marking and measuring them to assess their populations. They rehabilitate and reintroduce wild animals, who were victims of illegal trafficking, back into their natural habitats, to take care of those who can´t be released, and carry out educational activities with visitors. They also do environmental education with the kids in town.
- Day and night patrols of beaches in and out of Machalilla National Park (for these activities you will be working in teams and sleeping in tents during night patrols).
- Measurement and tagging of sea turtles
- Counting eggs and marking nests (mainly during nesting seasons)
- Relocation of eggs to nurseries or safer areas if required (mainly during nesting seasons)
- Equipping sea turtles with satellite transmitters (seasonal)
- Acoustic telemetry from boats (seasonal)
- Capturing and recapturing turtles at sea to evaluate their populations
Volunteer requirements / Skills
- Willingness to work hard in sometimes difficult conditions.
- Must be tolerant of different cultures and languages.
- They should preferably know some basic Spanish.
- They should be respectful of other members of the team and of members of the local community.
- They should not discriminate against people in any way.
Puerto Lopez and the surrounding communities are small towns composed mainly of fishermen and their families. There is also a growing economic activity around tourism in the area. People are mostly respectful and welcoming and like having foreign people in their towns.
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