Armed with good data, we can help fragile leatherback populations. So we need your help to patrol every night during their six-month nesting season.
This expedition truly needs volunteers like you. About 20 staff members from Nature Seekers - the local nonprofit Earthwatch partners with on this expedition - walk the beaches nightly during nesting season, but when up to 150 turtles at a time are digging nests and laying eggs, we need more hands to collect lots of accurate data.
You’ll help Earthwatch scientists record information on hatchling survival and adult turtle health, and to tag adult turtles to keep an accurate population count. This data has two critical purposes - it reveals long-term population trends and it supports quality public outreach. Nature Seekers hosts more than 15,000 turtle-watchers annually at Matura Beach, and educating these visitors, who come from the local community as well as abroad, has nearly stopped the killing of turtles at Matura.
You’ll also help scientists understand climate change impacts by tracking the slope and width of the beaches, the moisture in the sand, and the nests washed out to sea—all information that can give insight into how rising temperatures and rising seas could affect turtles and their habitats.
To collect data, you’ll walk the beach at night when turtles are active.
Of course, conservationists can’t do much about some threats to leatherbacks, such as the vultures and sharks that prey on eggs and hatchlings. The world is dangerous enough for these animals even without the risk of getting tangled in fishing nets or other side-effects of human activity. That’s why, with your help, we work to understand these threats and educate people about them.