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Project Biodiversity

Sea Turtle Hatchling Season Volunteering Programme


Berta Renon

Description of the project and the work to be done

The islands of Cabo Verde constitute the world’s second most important nesting site for the Loggerhead turtle (Caretta caretta), one of seven marine turtle species found worldwide. This incredible species is a critical link in marine ecosystems, helping to maintain the health of seagrass beds and coral reef systems that provide food and shelter for a vast array of other marine life. Unfortunately, human exploitation of this species has brought them to the brink of extinction. The illegal hunt and trade of turtle meat along with the quick tourist and urban development are the main threats to the species in Sal Island.
For the last 10 years, both international volunteers and members of the local community have worked tirelessly to ensure the protection of the female turtle – with beach patrols, community engagement activities. We have also been working closely with the government to improve regulations. While the number of turtles killed has drastically reduced, illegal poaching and trafficking persist.
Our mission continues in 2021 – hopefully with you as a part of our team! We aim to further empower the community to take action against the slaughter of nesting females, through direct beach protection, hatcheries management as well community engagement. As a 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 Cabo Verde. The usual nesting season is from June until October with hatchlings being born from midAugust until late December.

During the hatching season, volunteers are responsible for monitoring Loggerhead nests in the hatchery and on the nesting beaches. Under the supervision of the coordinators, volunteers will take part in different activities:
*Morning patrols on the main nesting beaches of Sal Island looking for nests that hatched during the previous night;
*Overnight shift in the project hatchery monitoring the nests that are due to hatch and releasing the hatchlings on nearby beaches;
*Excavation of nests that hatched on the previous night and collection of important scientific data. During those excavations volunteers will also be releasing any hatchlings left inside the nests;
*Taking part in outreach activities with the local community and tourists;
*Maintenance of material used throughout the nesting season.

Project Objectives

Life below water
Life on land

Type of activity

International volunteering


Cape Verde




Santa Maria, Sal

Number of places

7 places

Languages needed


Languages spoken by the NGO

English / Portuguese / Spanish


1 week: 220€; 2 weeks: 370€; 3 weeks: 320 €; 50 € for each additional week.
Volunteer contributions cover accommodation and utilities such as water and electricity. Meals are not provided. Food is not cheap here, but you will be able to save some money by doing communal cooking. Volunteer contributions also provide critical funds needed to support basic but essential needs of the project, allowing us to patrol the beaches more effectively, and ultimately protect more turtles.

Experience required

*Desire to participate in conservation; *At least 18 years old and under 45 years old; *Must understand written and spoken English; *Good level of physical fitness; *High level of energy and flexibility; *Able to cope with physically challenging conditions (sleeping on the beach, long walks, late nights, hot weather, insects); *Ability to work and live with people of different backgrounds and nationalities.

Project duration

October 20, 2021 / December 9, 2021

Volunteering time table

Weekly work days:

6 days a week


7 hours a day

Included services

  • Bed in shared room
  • Shared WC
  • Shower

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