Turtle conservation volunteer project
Snorkel in the sea by day and observe and take photo IDs of sea turtles. Once you’re done, relax at the beautiful island of Perhentian. At night, patrol the nesting beach under a blanket of stars while helping to protect the beach and collect data on nesting turtles.
The Perhentian Turtle Project was established by Fuze Ecoteer in 2015. The project works in close collaboration with the local community, stakeholders, Department of Fisheries (DOF) and Marine Parks Division.
The project is currently based in two places: Kampung Pasir Hantu (Fisherman’s Village) on Perhentian Kecil and Pantai Tiga Ruang (Turtle Beach aka the nesting beach) on Perhentian Besar.
FROM RM1,415 per week
- Up to 8 Persons
- All Meals Included
- 6 – 55 Nights
- Start any Monday from April til September.
- Minimum Age 16 years old
Conservation Project Impacts in 2019
Volunteer Project Details
The scutes (scales) on the flippers and the side of a green turtle’s face are unique to each individual. Once one is spotted, the snorkeler free-dives down to photograph the sea turtle’s facial profile, top and full body view while the person in the kayak records the number of people present around the turtle while ensuring the safety of the snorkeler from passing boats. If new turtles are discovered, you then get to name the new turtle!
The information gathered is vital for conservation measures as we will be able to determine population numbers of male and female turtles, identify hotspots where conservation efforts need to be focused and also movement patterns of the turtles. This data would also be useful to decision makers to design the Marine Park Zonation Plan.
Volunteers will help the team to collect non-flash photos of nesting sea turtles at beaches around the Perhentian Islands. The photos that you collect will help our researchers to study the sea turtle population in the Perhentian islands.
Moreover, volunteers and the team will be patrolling the nesting beach at night to prevent poachers from collecting sea turtles eggs. The patrols done are in addition to the patrols done by the Terengganu State Department of Fisheries staff to strengthen security of the nesting beaches against poachers. The eggs are then collected and transferred to the project’s hatchery on the island. Better beach management such as the on-going turtle patrol has proven to reduce the natural and human threats on nesting beach.
Our team also goes around dive shops and resorts to conduct awareness talks to the public especially to tourists. Volunteers will, apart from getting educated on sea turtles conservation, will be educating the public as well during one of these talks. Talk about doing work that makes an impact!
Awareness talks are on of the ways to get information out to the public. An eco-educated tourist would do so much in conserving these magnificent creatures.
Beach Clean Up
We have all seen the photos and videos and heard the story; a plastic straw stuck in the nose of a poor sea turtle. At our projects, we commit to weekly beach clean-ups to ensure that the beach and consequently the ocean is clean and safe for marine life.
Volunteers will help us during our beach clean-up and will then sort the trash according to recyclable categories or non recyclable items and collect data on the clean up.
A big part of our project is the community. We live in the village and work with local community. Volunteers will get to have a taste of authentic Malay food at the house of one of the ladies of PILA i.e Perhentian Ladies of Association.
Fun fact: Fuze Ecoteer established Perhentian Ladies of Association in 2012 for housewives in Perhentian as a way for them to earn an income. It now proudly stands on its own and even has a cafe!
|Mon||Arrival||Orientation & Water confidence||free time|
|Tue||Snorkel Turtle Photo ID Survey practice||Small Art work projects,|
Data Analysis & Review
|Wed||Beach clean-up||Awareness Board|
|Thur||Snorkel Tour||Prep for Turtle Watch at Tiga Ruang,||Turtle Watch|
|Fri||Rest||Awareness Campaign at Tiga Ruang||Turtle Watch|
|Sat||Rest||Awareness Campaign at Tiga Ruang||Turtle Watch|
|Sun||Back to village and free day or departure|
|3 weeks||RM3,242||RM5,067 |
|4 weeks||RM3,796||RM5,872 |
Why is this project important? The Perhentian Islands are home to 300 sea turtles that importantly are either nesting turtles or migrating and foraging turtles. There are not many sites which have both nesting and foraging individuals. The islands are second only to Redang Island in terms of importance in Peninsular Malaysia making the Perhentian Islands vital to protect for the longevity of the Green Sea Turtles. The islands are becoming increasingly popular for low budget tourism which means we have a great responsibility to not only educate but to inspire these tourists so when they go to other locations they continue being sensitive and responsible tourists.
The islands need you!
- Volunteers will stay at the Ecoteer’s Volunteer House.
- A house with 3 sections/rooms
- Communal toilet/ bathroom
- A small safe is available for passport and/or money at Ecoteer House
- Wi-fi internet access is available at Ecoteer House
- Laundry: hand wash/washing machine at the Ecoteer House/paid laundry services in the village
- Bedding and mosquito nets are provided
- We can play CDs and DVDs, but we don’t have a TV.
- Shops are available in the village to purchase toiletries, snacks, drinks, veg, chicken and fruits.
- Main meals (breakfast, lunch, and dinner) are provided – either cooked at home or eaten out in the village
- You may refill your drinking water at Ecoteer House