Play your part in an important conservation project on a tropical island fringed with coral near the West Malaysian coast. The Perhentian Turtle Project is a collaborative project uniting researchers, volunteers and the local government in the quest to protect sea turtles and conserve the stunning environment which provides a home for these creatures. Named the ‘number one beach location in Malaysia’ by CNN in 2013, this beautiful island paradise is home to a significant population of green sea turtles. Your role on this turtally awesome project will be to assist researchers in the collection of scientific data to inform their research.
Collecting this data will involve snorkelling in order to take non-intrusive photos of the turtles at sea; these photos will then be used to identify individual turtles and track their movement around the islands. You will also be helping the turtles that use the island to breed, nest or forage, by protecting their eggs from the threat of poachers that sadly exists. Overall, involvement on this project will benefit not just the turtles but also volunteers themselves, who will gain knowledge and insight in the world of turtle conservation. On the down-side, it’ll be a real drag having to live and work in a tropical island paradise every day. Sigh.
To learn more about a baby turtle's first journey, click here!
Although there are a significant number of green sea turtles living around the Perhentian islands, there are only around 300 nestings per year. This is partly due to frequent oil spills from nearby oil production platforms and oil tankers. The Perhentian Turtle Project is therefore vital for the conservation of both the turtles and the islands’ beaches. The information gathered by volunteers is vital for conservation measures as it allows researchers to see where conservation efforts need to be focused, and also track the movement patterns of turtles around the islands. The photo ID research that volunteers help to conduct will be used by decision-makers to develop a sea turtle management plan.
Work on the beach is as important as work under the sea – the photographs volunteers take of turtles using the beach to nest will help researchers to establish the turtles’ nesting patterns. Finally, night-time ‘turtle watches’ by volunteers help to deter poachers and allow government officials to safely collect the sea turtles’ eggs from the nesting beaches, taking them to the safety of the Department of Fisheries’ hatchery. This project is setting the foundations for future conservation work in both the Perhentian Islands and further afield.
You will arrive on the island and receive a briefing and orientation which includes an overview of the project, a tour of the local area and a snorkelling session. In the evening you will have dinner and be given a ‘marine presentation’, before having some free time to acclimatise to your new surroundings.
Volunteers will have a learning session including group presentations about sea turtles and their conservation. In the afternoon you will learn about the sea turtle ID research before having a chance to do some ‘snorkel-snapping’ around the turtles’ sea-grass bed home. In the evening, volunteers will work in teams to carry out night-time ‘turtle watch’ on rotation, with 2 teams off and 1 team on-duty.
Enjoy a free morning to explore the tropical island paradise. In the afternoon there will be a Snorkel Photo ID Session, and in the evening another rotational night-time ‘turtle watch’. For the teams that are off-duty, the evening is free.
In a reversal of yesterday’s pattern, this time the day will start with a Snorkel Photo ID Session, and the afternoon will be free. ‘Turtle watch’ goes ahead as normal, with two teams off-duty and one team on. The remaining days will alternate between the patterns of day three and four.
- The price shown is the 'from' price per person for 14 nights
- Click 'Ask a Question' to chat to the operator and for full information regarding project dates and costs
- Cancellation of reservation must be made in writing to avoid any misunderstanding.
- If the company receives notice to cancel 30 days or more before the date of departure, an administrative fee of approximately £18 per person will be levied.
- If notice of the cancellation is received 29 days or less before the date of departure the following charges will apply: 15 - 29 working days before the date of departure = approx. £45 per person; 8 - 14 working days before the date of departure = 20% of full cost; 3 - 7 working days before the date of departure = 40% of full cost; 2 working days or less before the date of departure = 100% of full cost.
- Marine park fee
- Return Ferry from Kuala Besut to Perhentian Islands
- Minimum 3 overnight turtle watches per week.
- Daily Photo ID sessions with our researchers
- Mixed sex Dormitory accommodation with western toilet
- Travel to/from Kuala Besut