Karumbe Sea Turtle Project - November – April

Description

Based in Uruguay, in the coastal area of Rocha, Karumbé have been working for the conservation of sea turtles for the past 19 years.

The season and volunteering period runs from November to April each year.

Located on the south-eastern coast of South America where there is no nesting beaches for sea turtles, and therefore little attention has been paid to the presence of these animals until the formation of the nongovernmental organisation Karumbe was formed. Karumbe a group of scientists, teachers, fishermen and students working together toward to conservation of sea turtles in Uruguay through research, rehabilitation, outreach, education and sustainable development.

In the past, the knowledge on sea turtles in Uruguayan waters was restricted to anecdotal observations at sea, a few stranding reports, a study of the contents of one stomach, some species identification sheets in a national guide of reptiles and amphibians. In 1999, a group of young college students specialising in biological sciences and primary education, independent researchers, and biologists interested in developing research and conservation activities on sea turtles in Uruguay, formed the NGO Karumbé.

Karumbé means ‘turtle’ in the language of the Guaraní Indians, the original inhabitants of Uruguay’s coastal zone. Karumbé’s first activities consisted of surveys along 630 Kms of the coast, looking for stranded sea turtles; interviews with local fishermen and other members of coastal fishing communities; and the establishment of a sea turtle monitoring programme in January 2000, to conduct research in the place that was thought to be one of the most important feeding areas for juvenile sea turtles, there are 5 species of sea turtles in Uruguay, green turtles (Chelonia mydas), loggerheads (Caretta caretta), leatherbacks (Dermochelys coriacea), olive ridleys (Lepidochelys olivacea) and hawksbills.

Karumbe’s Core Aims:

  • Investigation
  • Conservation
  • Rehabilitation
  • Education

Karumbe are looking for veterinary and non-veterinary volunteers to join them during the season. This runs from November to April, so not long left for this season, but all volunteers most welcome!

Cerro Verde is a protected area (National System of Protected Areas, Bañado del Este and Coastal Strip - Biosphere Reserve). On this site, the green turtle is a flagship species for the conservation of all its biodiversity. It is an area of ​​high diversity of fauna and plant communities including relictual vegetation, marine mammals (such as Franciscan dolphins and Bottlenose dolphins) and seabirds. The area was recently included in the National System of Protected Areas as the first Coastal-Marine Protected Area of ​​Uruguay. In order to develop a management plan and conserve the biodiversity of this marine ecosystem, it is essential to continue with the research activities developed in it.

Duration

7 days minimum

Availability

Spaces available

Cost

£115 per week

  • + £50 (WVS admin fee)
  • + Return flights
  • + Airport transfers
  • + Insurance
  • + Visas

Duration

7 days minimum

Availability

Spaces available

Cost

£115 per week

  • + £50 (WVS admin fee)
  • + Return flights
  • + Airport transfers
  • + Insurance
  • + Visas

Duration

7 days minimum

Availability

Spaces available

Cost

£115 per week

  • + £50 (WVS admin fee)
  • + Return flights
  • + Airport transfers
  • + Insurance
  • + Visas

Country

Uruguay

Animals

marine

Dates

Dates available throughout the year.

Any questions?

+44 1725 557225

Volunteer duties
  • Sighting and capture (using nets) of green turtle juveniles in areas close to the shore.
  • Once a week, long-walk surveys searching for stranded sea turtles.
  • Help researchers with necropsies of any dead individual.
  • Help to preserve the Sea Turtle visitor´s Centre
  • Get involved in educational activities and generate public awareness for tourists and locals.
  • Participation in recreational activities at neighbour localities.
  • Give support in the rehabilitation of sick and weak sea turtles.
  • Cleaning and changing the water of the turtle’s swimming-pools.
  • Help in the field station duties such as cleaning and cooking

The volunteer house: kitchen and dining-room of common use and one bathroom. The place has drinkable water and electricity.

The volunteers will sleep in small rooms with bunk beds shared by 4 people. One queen size bed dorm is available upon request.

No volunteers under 18 years old and all volunteers must be competent swimmers.

Minimum placement 1 week

Included as standard

3 meals a day

Accommodation

Not included as standard

Return flights (volunteers should fly to Uruguay at Carrasco International Airport)

Airport transfers – volunteers need to book the bus to La Coronilla

Insurance

Visas (if required). Check online to see if you require a visa: https://www.southamerica.travel/Uruguay-Tours/Country-Info/Uruguay-Tourist-Visas-Info/

Equipment to Pack:

  • Wetsuit and flippers
  • Watch and alarm clock
  • Sun protection cream, protective lipstick (Important: sun rays in this latitudes highly affect the skin)
  • Sleeping bag
  • Insect repellent
  • Sun glasses, sport shoes, flip-flops, suitable clothes for hot, cold, windy and wet weather.
  • Shampoo, soap, and all personal items
  • First aids kit and personal medicines
  • Rain jacket
  • Flashlight
  • Camera

Usual vaccinations required – tetanus and rabies and any other in country vaccinations for Uruguay your GP recommends.