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perhentian turtle volunteeringThe Perhentian Turtle Project aims for greater understanding and protection of the sea turtle populations in the Perhentian Islands, located off the east of Peninsular Malaysia. It is a unique and diverse programme that includes not only the establishment of a pioneering photo identification database of sea turtle sightings, but also the protection of nesting beaches and turtle eggs. The project team also promote conservation awareness in the local community and among visiting tourists and resorts.

It’s not surprising that the work is demanding and very multi-faceted: During the day, team members carry out daily dive trips to photograph resident, transient and nesting turtles and add this data to the identification database. At night, they work with local staff of the Fisheries Department to deter poachers by patrolling nesting beaches and re-locating eggs to protected hatcheries. Additionally, they are busy with posters and presentations to the residents and tourists to promote responsible tourism such as caring for reef environments and eco-snorkeling. Their outreach even allows any diver or snorkeller to submit their own photographs to the project website, to help identify individual sea turtles.

The Turtle Team is based at an amazingly beautiful private estate, just off the main beach of Perhentian Besar, the larger of the two paradise islands. The so-called Turtle House provides accommodation, work spaces and a kitchen plus some awesome views and sunsets over the bay.




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