Who wants to help our turtles? I know I do! National Park Superintendent Brion Fitzgerald asked us to pass along the following information on how we can all help the turtles…
The Virgin Islands National Park resource management team needs your help monitoring the beaches of St. John to measure and protect sea turtle activity. Dedicated individuals will be responsible for assisting in turtle species and activity identification, beach surveys and data recording. Tasks include walking assigned beach 1-2 times a week, photographing/drawing turtle activity signs, writing up and uploading recorded data via smartphone app/email weekly. Occasionally volunteers will be asked to assist park staff with turtle nest excavations, night surveys or turtle rescues. This volunteer commitment will require at least 1-2 hours in the early morning each week until the end of November. Transportation to and from adopted beach will be the volunteer’s responsibility. Possible risks may include traversing thick vegetation, steep rocky terrain, rocky beaches with wet rocks that may be slick or unstable, exposure to inclement weather and an occasional beautiful sunrise.
There will be two introductory sea turtle monitoring trainings at the conference room in the park visitor center:
- Monday – August 10th from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.
- Wednesday – August 12th from 8 a.m. to 9 a.m.
Only one training session needs to be attended and more training’s will be scheduled as needed.
Available seats are limited for these two training. If interested, please contact biologist A. Shane McKinley at (340) 693-8950 ext 222 or via email: [email protected] to sign up. In your response, we ask volunteers to indicate how many mornings per week they can commit, specific beach preference (if any), and any related experience you may have (no experience required).
And if you need one more reason as to why you should help, check out this awesome turtle video taken by our friends over at Wasted Sun. Enjoy!