Volunteering at Green Lion in Indonesia
We have first hand insight on a turtle conservation project from the Green Lion, in Nusa Penida, Indonesia. This program was started with the goal to help the turtle population of the island and so far the project has had a meaningful impact in the community. Here is what the volunteers do at Nusa Penida.
An average day’s work consist of two shifts, a morning shift (9am to 11am) and an afternoon shift (from 2pm to 4pm). The volunteers take different turns doing some of the below activities:
- Beach cleanups; a group of volunteers go to the nearby beaches and collect plastic trash and sort it out.
- Turtle feeding; the turtles get fed fish cut into a paste, the baby turtles get smaller pieces.
- Crab catching; in order to treat the turtles, the volunteers go catch crabs from the beach, for that they dig holes in the sand.
- Tank Cleaning; the maintenance of the tanks is done by scrubbing the algae from the sides, to protect the turtles they are not allowed to use soap.
- Turtle cleaning; algae also grows on the turtles shells, the volunteers scrub it off with a sponge and toothbrush on a daily basis.
- Turtle releasing; generally on Fridays, the volunteers that are leaving the program, get to release turtles on the same beach where they were found.
- Sign painting; to spread the message and educate others they paint signs in English and Bahasa against plastic trash and pollution.
These activities follow the project’s goal of increasing the turtle population, rescue injured turtles from fishermen and plastic trash, raise awareness about the situation and involve the local community.
Unfortunately, not all the rescued eggs and turtles make it, some are too injured to be put back into the sea. But the overall statistics are positive, 40 turtles have been rescued and over 1,000 turtles have been released so far this year.