Project Updates

Borneo turtle conservation project reaches out to new islands

Imagine spending weeks on end living on a beautiful tropical beach, snorkelling by day and taking boat trips to idyllic neighbouring islands by night, whilst all the while taking part in important turtle, reef and marine conservation work with a dedicated team of like-minded people. Could it possibly get any better? Well we think it just did.

Our Borneo marine project is extending its turtle monitoring and protection programme to two new islands in the beautiful Celebes Sea from May this year. The expansion of the programme is just in time for volunteers wanting to participate in this year’s turtle and snorkelling volunteer programme which runs from May to September each year.

New volunteer schedule

Volunteers will now be able to mix their reef protection and marine conservation work on the main island of Pom Pom with work on the two new islands which are home to hawksbill and green turtles and are located between 3 and 5km from Pom pom.

Boats destined for the new islands will set off from the volunteer project at around 8pm every evening, right after supper and return around midnight once the work on the islands is complete. Volunteers will also have the opportunity to camp overnight if you see yourself as a bit of a Robinson Crusoe or just fancy a change from the main island.

Duties for volunteers will include snorkel surveys to count adults in the water, counting and tagging nesting turtles and collecting turtle eggs for protection in a safe hatchery.  As well as monitoring turtles, eggs and hatchlings, volunteers help to ensure that the environment is a safe turtle habitat and nesting ground by clearing beaches of logs and debris, particularly plastic bags which are a serious danger to the green and hawksbill turtles on the islands, as they block turtles guts when they accidentally ingest them.

The new turtle nesting sites were discovered during the project’s survey of the area late in 2013 and bring a whole new dimension to our volunteer placements on this unspoilt island off the North-eastern coast of Borneo.  With the addition of the new islands to the turtle and snorkelling programme, each volunteer can expect to visit and work on up to five different islands a week.

How to be part of this exciting programme

The Borneo marine project is already one of our most popular projects and placements on the turtle and snorkelling programme are filling up fast. So, if you would like to spend a few weeks island hopping around Borneo, helping to protect and monitor endangered turtles this summer we recommend that you to fill in your application form as soon as possible. Or why not book our place for 2015 now! And if you need more information about the project the please visit our Volunteer Borneo Marine Project pages.