Nature Foundation Calls on Volunteers for Sea Turtle Nesting Patrols

turtle tracks in the sand in Philipsburg

The Nature Foundation St Maarten is looking for enthusiastic volunteers to patrol beaches for signs of sea turtle nesting. These precious sea creatures usually come ashore to lay their eggs during the nesting season that runs from April through November each year. Sea turtle population numbers have declined due to human impact, bringing many sea turtle species close to extinction and causing them to be listed as critically endangered.

Few of the negative effects on Sea Turtles on St Maarten are caused by artificial lighting from businesses or street lights close to the beach, boat strikes, vibration from cars driving over our beaches, climate change and beach development. Sea turtle species are protected by international laws and treaties as well as local laws. The Foundation conducts various activities that involve nesting monitoring, nest excavations, beach surveys, tagging activities and nest success research.

Due to the lack of capacity, the help of volunteers is needed in order to locate sea turtle nests and patrol beaches for signs of nesting. “We are looking for volunteers who are able to commit for the entire nesting season from April until November of 2019 and who are able to patrol a certain beach a few times per week, preferable early in the mornings.

We will organize a little workshop for interested volunteers, to learn about sea turtle nesting, nesting signs and reporting, which will be held in April 2019”, explained Nature Foundation’s Projects Coordinator Melanie Meijer zu Schlochtern.

Interested persons who meet the requirements and want to volunteer, can use our contact page to get in touch with us.