Program Details

Volunteers are needed from July to December for 1 to 12 weeks in duration, every year. You can take part in: Performing night surveys on the beach to find nesting turtles and helping to protect them from illegal extraction and predators (4-6h depending on
San Jose, Costa Rica
Program Type:
Volunteer Abroad
Degree Level:
Work Types:
Animals, Education, Environment
1-3 months

Program Overview

Program Description:
Volunteer with sea turtles in Costa Rica as one of our marine conservation volunteers, and join this Olive Ridley turtle programme in the spectacular Southern Pacific coast of Costa Rica on Drake Bay, home to over 25 dolphin and whale species and the Olive Ridley Turtle. Marine conservation volunteers will take part in night surveys, monitoring eggs and baby turtles, releasing baby turtles into the ocean and helping with local conservation education projects. You can join for 1 week up to 12 weeks from July to December every year. We have places all throughout 2015 available. Individuals, groups and students doing research all welcome. Cost includes lodging in main camp/homestay, 3 meals a day, training & supervision, snacks for patrols, materials; starts at £312.

Volunteers are needed from July to December for 1 to 12 weeks in duration, every year. You can take part in: Performing night surveys on the beach to find nesting turtles and helping to protect them from illegal extraction and predators (4-6h depending on the availability of volunteers), Relocating eggs, building new nests and burying the eggs on the beach themselves, Monitoring eggs and baby turtles, Track and nest surveying through patrols on beach daily, Tagging female turtles, Collecting biometric data on the beach, Releasing baby turtles into the ocean, Excavation (exhumations), Maintenance of beach and camp and helping with local conservation education projects. The work will be carried out over the 3.6 kilometre beach, located between the mouth of the River Drake and Punta Ganadito. Access to the beach will be via boat, to cross the small lagoon located between the camp and the beach. The difficult access on foot enables the beach to remain almost virgin. Upon arrival, you will receive full training on the programme, on the biology of turtles and the methodology of the field work. You will be working under the direct supervision of a Scientific Supervisor throughout your time on the project.

This project is located in Drake Bay in the Osa Peninsula of Costa Rica. The rapid disappearance of sea turtles on the beaches is the reason why this project was initiated in 2006. The low nesting numbers of the Olive Ridley Turtle (Lepidochelys olivácea) raised the alarm. Pacific sea turtle populations are critically endangered throughout the world, and this project is working hard to conserve and protect this species in this part of Costa Rica. In the study area there are four species of sea turtles. We have identified protect the nests of the Olive Ridley turtle (Lepidochelys olivacea) although the presence of Pacific Green (Chelonia mydas), Leatherback (Dermochelys coriacea) and Hawksbill (Eretmochelys imbricate) turtles has been recorded too. Between 150 and 250 Olive Ridley turtles arrive every season at the 3.6 km Drake Beach. The scientific mission of the project is to generate the data necessary to support the conservation of this nesting population. Marine conservation volunteers will gain experience in numerous aspects of the investigation and conservation of sea turtles. Working as a marine conservation volunteer, you will be forming part of a team of investigators responsible for developing the conservation programme in Drake Bay and monitoring the population of marine turtles that nests there between July and December each year.
Setting Description:
Costa Rica is located in Central America, bordered by Panama on the East and Nicaragua on the West. It is a country of staggering beauty, immense variety of wildlife, active and dormant volcanoes, mountains with extensive trail systems, cloudforest and rainforest, Pacific and Caribbean beaches, indigenous groups and loads more. It is also a very peaceful country with one of the highest ratings for "happiness" amongst its nationals in the world! This project is located in the small community of El Progreso and the beaches where the sea turtles are monitored are Drake Beach and Ganado Beach, in the Osa Peninsula, South-eastern Costa Rica on the Pacific coast.The beaches are accessible mainly by boat and foot, as the roads are impassable in the rainy season. It is the anonymity of El Progreso and absence of tourists on Drake Beach that enables the project to work towards conserving the population of nesting turtles. Drake Bay itself is also home to 25 dolphin and whale species, where the
The cost for 1 week is £312, 2 weeks is £454, 3 weeks is £595, and 4 weeks is £643, 5 weeks is £761, 6 weeks is £879, 7 weeks is £997, 8 weeks is £1115 and 12 weeks is £1589. The cost is the same whether you live in a homestay or the main camp. You may also combine 1 week in the main camp and 1 week in a homestay if you wish. Please email for prices of other durations and any other questions. This cost includes three meals a day, accommodation, snacks for patrols, equipment (for patrols), g

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