Volunteers protect turtles for the future

Volunteers protect turtles for the future

HAVE you ever wanted to do something to make a difference for both animals and the environment?

Volunteers for Aceh Sea Turtles offers an interactive, hands-on experience as part of a mission to protect sea turtles while incorporating sustainable livelihoods in local communities. It will hold an information night next month.

The co-founder of the VAST volunteer program and a group of Southern Cross University students became involved in the program after participating in a New Colombo Plan Scholarship through tourism and environmental science degrees.

Volunteers of the not-for-profit volunteer program travel to the west coast of Sumatra in Indonesia to the island on Bangkaru, which is the largest nesting site for endangered green sea turtles in Western Indonesia.

« With a high illegal poaching presence on the island, our volunteer programs effort will work towards achieving the long-term conservation of the island while upholding consistent funding streams for the rangers to continue protecting the island from poachers,” VAST co-founder Lauren Hasson said.

Volunteers will learn additional skills and knowledge in regards to conservation work by actively participating in the day-to-day operations of the marine turtle conservation project based on the island.

Ms Hasson said a previous Marine Discovery Series talk by Kara Gillies on sea turtles on the Coffs Coast demonstrated they travelled across the Indo-Pacific region, meaning efforts on Bangkaru to boost hatching population numbers and survival rates would impact the presence of turtles in our local area.