Become a turtle volunteer in Papua New Guinea
If you know a bit about Kavieng in the New Ireland Province you are probably aware of the adventure, surfing and diving on offer. It is an off-the-beaten-track destination with pristine reefs, crystal clear water and uncrowded waves. But did you know that you can also do a turtle volunteer and marine conservation program whilst in the area?
There is a little magical place – a tiny island 30 minutes by boat from Kavieng, called Lissenung Island. Lissenung Island is a surfers’ and divers’ dream. An idyllic setting, limited number of guests in house, comfortable traditional bungalows, amazing fresh food and uncrowded, fun waves as well as an abundance of dive sites. What makes this place extra special though is the dedication to the conservation and study of sea turtles as well as the marine environment by the people who live here.
Each year the local landowners and the Lissenung Island Turtle Conservation team passionately dedicate their time, energy and funds to ensure turtle nests in the area are protected from poachers and other natural causes that threaten the successful hatching of nests. Their efforts see a turtle hatching success rate of over 90% each year. Moreover, by witnessing the nests hatching firsthand valuable data is collected and sent to Conservation organisations in Australia and beyond. This data is invaluable to turtle researchers, and provides groundbreaking information on turtle numbers, species, migratory patterns, feeding grounds and more in the Kavieng area.
With nesting season fast approaching the team at Lissenung Island Turtle Conservation is gearing up for another busy season of data collection and nest relocations (over 4100 eggs collected in the 2016/17 season). All the efforts are out of passion and without any major external funding.
You can see the efforts of the conservation team for yourself if you head to Lissenung on a surf or dive adventure between November and February. You can further support the cause by becoming a turtle volunteer and joining our conservation program. This unique opportunity sees turtle volunteers help the team out with daily tasks such as monitoring for new nests on nearby islands, assisting with the relocation of nests and noting data, amongst other daily chores. Further you will do daily underwater Coral Watch surveys with findings uploaded into a worldwide database indicating the health of coral reefs globally.
Support the dedicated team and local landowners at Lissenung by joining our turtle conservation program or come on our next PNG surf trip to Lissenung.
It is feared certain species of turtle will be extinct by 2030. Your support as a turtle volunteer of this project will be a small step to saving turtles, allowing future generations to enjoy the presence of this beautiful species as well as providing an insight into the health of the reef around the small islands of Kavieng.
Give the Lissenung Island Turtle Conservation Facebook page a LIKE. Help raise awareness about the efforts and energy involved in helping the preservation of turtles.