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Turtle Conservation Project - Mexico

Thousands of the Olive Ridley turtles come ashore each year to nest and lay eggs on the Pacific coast of Mexico. Each turtle will lay several eggs but the chances of a turtle hatchling making it to adult life are slim. The chances are made slimmer in Mexico due to human interference.

In Mexico turtle eggs are reputed to increase male potency and are often found served in restaurants as delicacies. Added to this, locals frequently kill adult turtles for meat and also for their shells which are used in making ornaments and jewellery.

To compound the problem adult turtles are under increasing threat from global pollution, particularly plastic refuse found floating in the sea or on the shore line. Adult turtles are regularly found washed ashore tangled in strips of discarded plastic refuse.

Global Volunteer Projects is working with a local NGO to help protect these rare turtles. Your job will be to collect the precious eggs from nesting sites, and put them in secure incubators, protecting them from predators, both animal and human! When the eggs are ready for hatching you will take back out to their nests and monitor the hatchlings as they make their journey to the Pacific Ocean. Most of your work will involve camping on the beach, often in shifts, to monitor and protect the turtles coming ashore and the hatchlings making their perilous journey back into the Ocean.

Increasing the number of hatchlings that make it to this stage vastly increases the probability that more will make it to adult life and is vital to protecting the number of Olive Ridley Turtles in our Oceans.

Important note regarding dates:

Although this project is available throughout the year, the peak turtle nesting season is between July and December. Outside of these months you will see fewer turtles but there will still be work to be done incubating the hatchlings, building secure nesting sites and protecting the hatchlings as they head out into the ocean.

The incubation period of the eggs is up to 58 days, so turtles will still be hatching almost two months after the last egg has been laid.

Your time on this project outside peak nesting times will also be spent conducting research into the Cayman and bird life in the area.

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