Turtle Conservation Support

Agentschap
·
opgericht in 2011
Josh
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Coördinator | Josh
Coördinator | Josh
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High­lights

Study and protect threatened Loggerhead Sea Turtles
Undertake hands-on conservation work alongside qualified field assistants
Increase your knowledge and experience in the conservation field
Enjoy the island experience of Kefalonia in your free time
Volunteer in a top European location
Protect endangered sea turtles through hands-on field work as a turtle conservation volunteer in Greece. This volunteer program is especially suitable for:
Leeftijd 18+
Alleenstaanden
Koppels

Protect endangered sea turtles through hands-on fieldwork as a Greece turtle conservation volunteer. Monitor nesting beaches, conduct beach patrol surveys, tag turtles and complete hatching rescues. Experience a real research and conservation project using a proven scientific methodology when you volunteer in Greece.

Background to the Turtle Conservation program:

An array of fauna and endangered species are nestled in the sandy beaches and crystal clear waters of Kefalonia. Located on the outskirts of mainland Greece, the loggerhead sea turtle is one of the island’s most interesting endangered species. More specifically, they are the only sea turtle that nests in the entire Mediterranean.

As a result, Kefalonia is an important breeding ground for loggerhead sea turtles. Sadly, there are many threats that push the sea turtles of Kefalonia closer to the brink of extinction. Both human and natural threats damage and destroy many of the eggs laid on the island’s sandy beaches.

Furthermore, the turtles themselves are regularly disorientated, injured or killed by a range of hazards. Examples include accidental boat strikes, swallowing plastic, light pollution or getting caught in fishing gear. These threats extend on a global level and endanger all turtle species including green sea turtles and leatherback sea turtles.

The loggerhead turtle can be distinguished by their large heads, reddish-brown shells and yellow/brown skin. In addition, they are considered to be one of the oldest species in the world. Our goal in this sea turtle conservation project is simple. To clarify, it is to study and protect the endangered loggerhead turtles of Kefalonia and their ecosystems.

Every year, sea turtles migrate to Kefalonia to forage and reproduce. Females nest in Kefalonia on average five times in one breeding season. The nesting activity itself mainly occurs at night throughout the summer months. Laying around 100 eggs each time, hatchlings will occur 2 months later and newborn turtles emerge. They will make their way into the sea at night when risks of predators are lower. In the interim, you and your fellow volunteers will work towards a primary goal of protecting sea turtle nests against accidental damage.

Volunteer opportunities provided by PMGY offer a platform to make a positive impact when you’re volunteering with turtles. When working as a Greece turtle conservation volunteer, it is important to maintain energy, enthusiasm and creativity. As a sea turtle volunteer, you will need to donate your time and skills effectively. This is to ensure you can maximise your conservation work and the impact of your field research through a volunteer experience. Greece is our only European destination where you can embark on a wildlife conservation program project.

Turtle Conservation Volunteer Placement Examples:

Sea turtles nest along Kefalonia’s southern coast. To maximise the areas in which we can monitor, we have established two field stations at separate locations on the coast. Consequently, your volunteer work in Greece will take place in one of two locations. They are only a short 30-minute ferry ride apart. Depending on which day you choose to begin the program, we will dictate your placement setting as a Greece turtle conservation volunteer.

Argostoli – Your program start date for the Argostoli location is on a Sunday. Regarded as the capital town of Kefalonia, Argostoli is closer to the beach locations and nesting beaches. The town’s coastline is rich with short, narrow beaches and colourful cliffs. Most importantly, the beaches spread across a wide area and represent an important nesting habitat for Kefalonia’s sea turtles.

The field station base at Argostoli stretches over eleven beaches varying from 100 metres to 1 kilometre. We will work in sub-teams to conduct morning beach surveys to ensure all locations are covered. Additionally, the bay of Argostoli blends into the Koutavos Lagoon. The warm waters here become home to a number of sea turtles during the summer season. They will usually congregate in the harbour of Argostoli visible to conservation volunteers and tourists.

Lixouri – Your program start date for the Lixouri location is on a Tuesday. Established as the main town on the peninsula of Paliki, it is lined with long south-facing beaches. Nesting beaches are in abundance. Some have unusual characteristics including red sand and clay cliffs. Each brings its own risks and vulnerability. In short, the warm sandy beaches are a hotspot for loggerhead sea turtles to lay their nests.

On the sea turtle conservation project in Lixouri, you will patrol the nesting beaches for sea turtle tracks on the sand. Such tracks have been left by the female turtles that emerged on the previous night. Assess the tracks, verify the location of eggs and mark the location. Moreover, work with the field assistant to collect scientific data that is most useful for the protection of the nests. During hatching season, check the beach for hatching tracks and conduct nest inventories to assess each hatching success.

In terms of conducting field surveys, there are two main differences that exist between each field station location. In Lixouri, main nesting areas are patrolled throughout the night. This is done to spot, measure and tag the nesting female turtles. However, this is not the case in Argostoli where night surveys do not exist. For the reason that nesting in Argostoli takes place over a range of small beaches. Consequently, it is difficult to predict where the turtles will nest.

On the other hand, only adult turtle observation shifts take place in the harbour of Argostoli. Turtles concentrate here regularly and you can congregate with your fellow volunteers to monitor these endangered species. There are no adult turtle observation shifts in Lixouri.

Aside from these differences, your typical daily tasks on the Greece volunteer program will remain similar. Moreover, you can take the short ferry ride between each location in your free time. As a result, you can develop an understanding of the typical workday in each setting.


OTHER THINGS TO CONSIDER VOLUNTEERING WITH TURTLES IN GREECE

Project Focus - This program is very much focused on conservation activities rather than a traditional gap year/volunteer travel experience. This involves working a 6 day week with the potential of early morning starts or working on the beach during the night. There is plenty of downtime but the team does expect people to be punctual and join all their assigned shifts. You need to have a big passion for marine conservation and use this as the main motivation for joining the trip. The vast majority of participants have a wonderful experience but a small number of people can find the program to lack the cultural and travel balance that our other destinations offer.

Cycling - The fieldwork covers a range of nesting beaches that spans over a large area. The easiest way for volunteers to get from point to point is by bicycle. This is particularly the case in Lixouri where it is an 8km distance from the main town to the nesting beaches. Therefore, volunteers must be comfortable cycling a bike on hilly terrain and also be able to walk the beaches on hot days. You will always cycle as part of a team leaving at scheduled times. Moreover, you can use your free time to hop on the bike and explore the local area further.

Volunteering with Friends - You are welcome to join the Greece turtle conservation volunteer program with a friend. You can highlight this in the special requirements of the online application. Subsequently, our team can ensure you stay in the same accommodation and project location. Moreover, they will do their best to give you both the same free day each week. However, it is important to note that there is a large range of fieldwork covered each day. Consequently, it is not always possible for our team to place you both together in each fieldwork setting.

Days Off - Your project work in Greece runs 6 days a week. This project runs 7 days a week so volunteers are assigned different days off to ensure the project runs at all times. You are welcome to relax and hang out at the volunteer accommodation on your one day off. However, most participants will use this time to travel and explore the island. Check out our Greece Weekend Travel Guide for top tips on how to spend your free day.

Dagelijkse activiteiten

Your Volunteer Role & Typical Work Day

When you volunteer in Greece on the sea turtle conservation project, you will be protecting an endangered species. More specifically, you will be preserving the sea turtles of Kefalonia and its ecosystems. Practical measures to do this include surveying nesting beaches and protecting turtles’ nests, This extends to monitoring the population’s health, identifying threats and public awareness campaigns.

You will begin field surveys on the day after your arrival and orientation. Your first few days on the volunteer project will be full of hands-on learning. This will be under the guidance of experienced field assistants. Enjoy training and workshops to get acquainted with all aspects of the fieldwork on the animal volunteering project.

Beach Surveys – A core part of the fieldwork will be patrolling the beaches. That is to say, each morning you will find and protect sea turtle nests. Most importantly, you will walk the sand to look for fresh turtle nests. For the reason that you can then mark and measure the nests that were laid most recently.

As a result, progress can be monitored throughout the incubation to hatching stage and accidental damage can be avoided. Nesting activity typically begins in the middle of May and runs through to late August. Therefore, this is the core period beach patrols take place when volunteering with turtles.

Hatching Rescue & Nest Protection – The nests typically hatch around 2 months after the eggs have been laid. Consequently, the hatching season usually begins in the middle of July and runs through to late October (please do not expect to see any baby turtle hatchings until this point in the season). You will continually monitor the nests to ensure they remain safe and away from danger. As the young turtles' hatch, limit obstacles like light pollution and ensure they crawl safely to the sea. Conduct nest inventories to assess the hatching success of each nest.

Light Pollution Surveys – Asides from storms, light pollution represents the next biggest threat to sea turtle nests in Kefalonia. Lights from nearby sources can disorientate the turtles and make them crawl away from the sea rather than towards it. Conduct environmental studies to quantify light pollution and determine its source. Assess the risks to each nest and implement appropriate actions to prevent light pollution factors harming baby turtles. Engagement with locals and public awareness are also key factors.

Turtle Tagging – The mating season for the loggerhead turtles typically runs from April until May. During this time, volunteers usually focus on the tagging process. This is where you will collect measurements of the turtles and assess their overall health. A tag is attached to the turtle so we can track its movement.

Other Activities – There will be many other activities that you are involved in as a Greece turtle conservation volunteer. Conduct harbour monitoring as you observe the behaviour and record activity of sea turtles swimming around the bay. Enjoy a night shift rota as you keep watch through the night over the nests. If you are lucky, assist with a baby sea turtle release if eggs begin to hatch. Support with data entry and educate tourists on why sea turtle conservation is so important.

Field leaders will provide volunteers with a weekly schedule for each project location. As a result, volunteers will have a clear understanding as to what their daily tasks and project shifts are. You will rotate across the tasks to ensure your role is varied. As a result, you will build as much experience in each area of conservation as possible. Furthermore, you will get accustomed to each research method and fieldwork technique that is used.

Most mornings will involve an early start. You will cycle to the nesting beaches to monitor the nests and conduct beach surveys. Afternoons are free to relax, explore the local area or simply take cover from the heat. Conservation work and field research will continue in early evenings with ad-hoc night shifts being also a possibility. You will volunteer 6 days per week and you will either cycle or walk to your fieldwork setting each day.

Vrijetijdsactiviteiten

The conservation program runs daily from the start to the end of the sea turtle nesting season. As a result, participants volunteer five days per week to help with all the fieldwork activities required. You will have two days free to relax or travel further afield. In your free time, it is worth exploring the beauty of the island and the quaint towns that exist within it. As our volunteers will testify, the wider travel opportunities are extremely important to the whole experience and it is something we certainly recommend. Our local team is able to suggest activities, day trips and transportation but please note this is usually an independent experience outside of the core program.

FISKARDO
Kefalonia’s prettiest village lies on the northeastern tip of the island. A 1953 earthquake caused great damage to the island, but somehow Fiskardo retained its 18th-century Venetian-style architecture. A picturesque harbour village, Fiscardo is famous for its seafood and popular with sailing crews. The journey from Argostoli to Fiscardo is filled with amazing views of Kefalonia’s rugged western coast as well as some of Greece’s most beautiful beaches.

MYRTOS BEACH
Backed by steep limestone cliffs, Myrtos Beach is recognised as one of the most photographed beaches in all of Greece. Located in the region of Pylaros in the north-west of Kefalonia, the coastal beach is made up of clear white sand and turquoise water stretching 700 metres long. The view from the road above is spectacular with many viewpoints for tourists to enjoy. Take a break from the sand and sea and explore the nearby village of Divarata.

MELISSANI CAVE
Home to an underground lake, Melissani Cave is definitely worth a visit. Located north of Sami, the lake became open to the public in 1963. Previously, the 40 metre wide underwater lake was once worshipped by the Ancient Greeks. Swimming inside the cave is not possible, but you can enjoy a 15 minute boat ride around the lake. Enter the cave and climb aboard a rowing boat with an oarsman to guide you round. Sunlight will enter through the hole in the roof of the cave and create amazing shades of blue-coloured light on the cave walls.

MOUNT AINOS
With an elevation of 1,628 metres, Mount Ainos is the tallest mountain to be found on the island of Kefalonia. Covered with Greek fir and black pine, most of the mountain range is categorised as a National Park. More specifically, Mount Ainos is the only classified National Park on the island. There are plenty of great trails to embark on for the inner hiker inside you. On a clear day, the views from the top are incredible. You will be able to view other islands on the Ionian Sea in the distance.

Watersport
Zwemmen
Bezienswaardigheden
Duiken/
Snorkelen
Shoppen/
Souvenirs
Wandelen

Voor­waarden

Om deel te nemen aan het programma dien je tenminste 18 jaar oud te zijn op de startdatum van het programma. Er kunnen uitzonderingen gemaakt worden indien je een bewijs van toestemming kan aantonen van uw wettelijke voogd(en) of samen met je ouders deelneemt.
Taalkennis
Je dient over volgende taalkennis te beschikken Engels (basis niveau)
Nationaliteitsbeperkingen
Geen beperkingen. Helpende handen van over de hele wereld zijn welkom.
Tijdsinzet
Uw helpende hand wordt verwacht op maandag, dinsdag, woensdag, donderdag, vrijdag en zaterdag van 06:00 - 12:00

Diensten ingesloten

Diensten door Plan My Gap Year

Your fee includes both your registration fee and programme fees.

  • Your programme fee includes; accommodation, airport pickup, in-country orientation, transport to projects, 24 hour in-country support.
  • Your registration fee includes; 24 hour UK based support, comprehensive volunteer handbook, live pre-departure webinars, 100% financial protection, regular programme inspection.

Afhaal aan de luchthaven op Kefallinia Airport

You should arrive into Kefalonia International Airport (airport code EFL) on either a Sunday or Tuesday depending on your field location. Where possible, your flight should arrive into Kefalonia before 6pm so that you can partake in the evening orientation. If you arrive on a Sunday you will be based in Argistoli. The accommodation is only a ten minute drive from the airport. 

If you arrive on a Tuesday you will be based in Lixouri. Your accommodation in Lixouri town involves a short drive and ferry ride across the bay from the airport. If you cannot find a flight that lands before 6pm then we can still arrange your pickup, but you will miss a core part of the program in the evening orientation. As a result, you may consider arriving the day before and sourcing your own accommodation for the night.

Airport drop off is arranged on your final day of the program and included in the fee. 


Accomodatie
Volunteer House

During your time on the Greece volunteer program, you will live in a Volunteer House in Kefalonia. This will be in either Argostoli or Lixouri depending on your project location.

In both cases, the Volunteer Houses will be located near the nesting beaches we monitor. Subsequently, use your free time to swim, sunbathe and relax on the beaches. On a similar note, the team will arrange a social evening at the houses once a week for volunteers to enjoy.

The Volunteer Houses are located a short journey away from each main town, where you can find ATMs, supermarkets and local restaurants. It is usually a short walk from the accommodation in Lixouri to the main square. Alternatively, it will be a short taxi or bike ride in Argostoli. You’ll be living with other volunteers from around the world, so you’ll make plenty of friends along the way!

The accommodation is comfortable and clean, fitting up to 6 people per room in shared bedrooms with bunk beds. All accommodation comes equipped with electricity, cooking facilities, fridges, a communal area and hot water. The bathrooms are shared, each with a shower and western style toilet.

There is a washing machine available for when you complete your daily volunteer work in Greece. It costs around 3 Euro per wash and washing lines are also provided. Fans are not provided, but the accommodation is usually cool enough where this is not an issue. In the same vein, Wi-Fi is not available at the accommodation. However, you can easily pick up a local SIM card or head to a local cafe to get online.

During the hatching season, you may be required to sleep on the beach in both locations. As a result, you are encouraged to bring a sleeping bag for the two or so times you will do this. Similarly, mosquito nets are optional so you may want to consider bringing one of these.

Field assistants will also live at the houses when you volunteer in Greece. This ensures you have round the clock support and security. You will either cycle or walk to and from your field work setting each day.

Guesthouse
Internet toegang
Makkelijke toegang op de project site
Wat is er NIET inbegrepen?
Visum, vluchten, reisverzekering en vaccinaties zijn NIET inbegrepen in de programmakosten. Eten, tussendoortjes en drankjes zijn bijkomende kosten.
Vlucht tickets
De dichtste luchthaven is Kefallinia Airport (EFL) in Kefallinia. We assisteren u met het vinden van goedkope vluchten naar Griekenland.
Reisverzekering
Naar het buitenland reizen is een avontuur en het is best om goed voorbereid te zijn. Plots ziek worden of gewond raken, annulaties of diefstal - een reisverzekering voor Griekenland biedt zekerheid en is een meerwaarde.
Vaccinaties
Als je de intentie hebt om als vrijwilliger aan de slag te gaan in Griekenland dien je eerst medisch advies in te winnen alvorens je eropuit trekt. Kijk de benodigde vaccinaties na voor Griekenland.

Data & Kosten

GEEN CREDITCARDKOSTEN

Gegevens over jouw aankomst

You should arrive into Kefalonia International Airport (airport code EFL) on the selected Sunday or Tuesday start date.  Where possible, your flight should arrive into Kefalonia before 6pm so that you can partake in the evening orientation. 

If you arrive on the Sunday you will be based in Argostoli. The accommodation is only a ten minute drive from the
airport. If you arrive on the Tuesday you will be based in Lixouri. Your accommodation in Lixouri town involves a short drive and ferry ride across the bay from the airport. Please note the ferry fee is not included within your Program Fee and will cost approximately 3 Euro. 

If you cannot find a flight that lands before 6pm then we can still arrange your pickup, but you will miss a core part of the program in the evening orientation. As a result, you may consider arriving the day before and sourcing your own accommodation for the night.

Airport pick-up service and transport to the project are included in the program fees. 

Beschikbaarheid
jan. feb. mrt. apr. mei jun. jul. aug. sep. okt. nov. dec.
Duurtijd
2 - 5 weken

Programmakosten

Kosten: Prijs in USD
2 weken (min. verblijf)
$1.089
4 weken
$1.929
5 weken (max. verblijf)
$2.324
Gemiddelde kosten
$505 /week

Houd er rekening mee dat de hierboven getoonde kosten worden geschat. Plan My Gap Year zal je op de hoogte houden over de finale kostprijs gedurende uw aanmeldprocedure.
Waarborg (15%)
De waarborg dient om je plek als vrijwilliger te verzekeren. Betalingen worden door PayPal behandeld, onze betrouwbare betalingsprovider. Indien je niet over een PayPal account beschikt, kan je ook met een credit kaart betalen.
Finale betaling (85%)
Uw finale betaling zal worden goedgekeurd door Plan My Gap Year gedurende de aanmeld procedure. Veel voorkomende oplossingen zijn een banktransfer of contante betaling op de projectsite.

Waarom Volunteer World

Bijkomende zekerheid geboden door Volunteer World
Volunteer World is 's werelds leidende vergelijkingsplatform voor internationale vrijwilligerswerk projecten. Wij begeleiden jou door een betrouwbare aanmeldingsprocedure - inclusief de nodige betalingen. Plan jouw zinvolle reis met Volunteer World en krijg gratis toegang tot:
Kwaliteitsgarantie
Hoge ethische standaarden & transparantie in de sociale impact
Flex-optie
Wijzig jouw reservatie zonder extra meerkost
Garantie op terugbetaling
We betalen je kosten terug als Plan My Gap Year jouw reis annuleert
Ondersteuning & tussenkomst
Wij steunen je, wat er ook gebeurt, je kan altijd contact opnemen met ons
Onze diensten zijn gratis!
Alle programmakosten worden rechtstreeks gefactureerd door Plan My Gap Year

Wat vertellen de mensen over Volunteer World?

Turtle Conservation Support

Protect endangered sea turtles through hands-on field work as a turtle conservation volunteer in Greece.

$505/week

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