My name is Lynette and at the end of January 2020, myself and my family will be volunteering for two weeks at the Kosgoda Sea Turtle Conservation Project in Sri Lanka. The project aim is to monitor sea turtle activity and conserve the local nesting sites. A very dedicated group of local people deliver the project with support from volunteers. The project was established in 1988 and the resilience of the team is evident by how they have managed to recover after the 2004 tsunami and continue their work to protect the sea turtles and educate the locals and tourists.
Whist sea turtles are protected, Sri Lanka’s turtles are still at threat of illegal poaching, plus human activity like beach front developments, harm from accidental catchment during fishing operations (bycatch), egg predation and climate change all pose a real threat to their existence.
Conservation has always been a passion of mine and my encounters with sea turtles in Mexico during a one month volunteering project in 1998, fuelled an interest in these amazing animals.
More than 20 years on and having worked for a wildlife conservation charity in the U.K for many of these, the reality of the impact of people and climate change on species is a reality I’m familiar with.
In the last two decades, most of the 7 species of sea turtle worldwide have seen a drastic decline. When you consider that they have been around for over 150 million years (since the time of the dinosaurs as my son reminded me!) and have survived natural climate change events including the last ice age, all activity to help prevent further decline is crucial.
Sri Lanka has 5 of the world’s species of sea turtles, most of which are endangered. Through the volunteering programme myself and my two eldest sons who will be aged 8 and 10, will be assisting with beach conservation work, maintenance of the turtle hatchery and night beach patrols. We will also be working with the local communities and tourists, sharing knowledge about the turtles.
It is my belief that every child living in Sri Lanka, should grow up to be able to see turtles in the wild and likewise it should be the same for future generations. Continued action now is essential to ensure the sea turtles do not become extinct.
I hope the kind financial inputs and the time myself and children will be giving, will help the project continue into the future in a sustainable way.
The amount we’re raising is to meet the direct project costs and does not include flight and associated travel costs which we are covering ourselves.
Thank you for your time and any support you can offer will be very much appreciated.
If you would like to learn more about the Kosgoda Sea Tutle Conservation Project please visit: kosgodaseaturtle.org