Sea Turtle Conservation Internship in Sal Island, Cape Verde

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Project Biodiversity is looking for candidates to join our team as Field Assistants, from June until October, for the 2019 Loggerhead nesting season in Sal Island, Cape Verde. We need passionate, driven individuals who wish to help us protect this incredible species in its native habitat.
Loggerhead nesting season runs from June to October, with hatchlings emerging from mid-August to late December. Throughout the season the team of Project Biodiversity is made up of local and international assistants and volunteers. Our work involves patrolling beaches (night and morning) monitoring nesting and to deter hunting, collecting data, conducting research, collaborating with tourists and local businesses, operating hatcheries, running education and outreach activities and organising beach cleans. Although there is a wide scope of activities within the project, protection of nesting turtles continues to be the main focus and whilst this can be stressful and tiring, it is highly rewarding.

  • As critical part of our team, you will have the opportunity to directly contribute to the conservation of this endangered species, and ultimately help build a more sustainable Cape Verde.
  • The project encompasses patrolling beaches to monitor nesting and deter hunting, data collection, research, working with tourists and local businesses, operation of hatcheries and hatchling releases, education and outreach activities and beach clean-ups.
  • Join an international team and enjoy an exchange of cultures while visiting Sal Island. The project staff enjoy discounts in dive centres, surf schools and excursion companies.
  • You will gain valuable experience on sea turtle conservation. Maybe your first step of your new career!
  • Join us from the 16th of June until the 20th of October for the whole nesting season.

Questions & Answers


9 Rating
based on 2 reviews
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  • Growth 8.5
  • Support 8
  • Fun 8
  • Housing 7.5
  • Safety 9.5
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Yes, I recommend this program

Hard Day's Night

The hours are long, the tents are sandy and the turtles don't even say thank you.

However, the hard work is ultimately rewarding, with the knowledge that this work plays a very important practical role in the conservation of an endangered species.

There is also something to be said for how closely you will actually work with the turtles, providing a very rare opportunity to interact with such amazing animals up close. From measuring and tagging the adults, to releasing hatchlings to the sea.

Camp life itself is a great lesson in recycling and sustainability, with nothing going to waste and fewer home comforts than many are used to.

Days off offer a great opportunity to go diving, snorkelling, sample the night life and perhaps drink a beer or two in the sun.

Definitely worth it.

What would you improve about this program?
The only real improvement I can think of would be communication. Sometimes decisions were made or schedules changed without much advance warning. While this is understandable in some circumstances, it's always nice to have a solid idea of what you need to be doing.
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Yes, I recommend this program

My 2018 Nesting Season

I have been fortunate enough to join resident sea turtle biologist for nesting seasons around the world and this season, experience, was by far my favorite. I came as an experienced sea turtle biologist, with particular interest because I had not work with this species. Carreta Carreta or loggerhead. Even as a semi experienced sea turtle biologist I learned ALOT. it was a great and valuable experience for my future as a conservation biologist. The living situation, I do not want to say was hard but it depends on your type of personality. It was rustic. We slept in tents on the beach but we lucky enough to share a space with a Kite Boarding school. This gave us access to a kitchen and sitting area where during the day we could relax sit and the table, read, play games ect. Since we were on the beach and of course conservationist we tried to preserved resources as much as possible. We were allowed limited amount of bucket fresh water showers and limited access to fresh water to do laundry. Once a week we had a day off and the program was nice enough to rent us an apartment in town . There you could take a fresh water shower, enjoy restaurant food, the town and lay by the pool. For me , a fresh water shower once a week with ocean showers in-between was plenty. Others opted to take some fresh water bucket showers in-between. The season was incredible but prepare to work hard. We are all there for a passion for these animals and conservation and they need our help. There were sleepless night, arduous nights but with the support of my fellow field assistants and staff of the program it was one of the most rewarding expiernces of my life. I will never forget my time in Sal and with Project Biodiversidade.

What would you improve about this program?
There are certain people in higher position that I don't agree should be there. I believe in general teachers and good forms of teaching is under appreciated and some of the teaching staff should not be teachers. In addition I think after proving responsibility we should have more freedom to go into town. Connect with family and loved ones. We did nothing during the day most days and I never understood why it was such a "favor" to go into town outside of our one day off.
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