I'm hoping to raise a minimum of £700 to go towards my 2 week volunteering experience in Greece in July this year, to cover the cost of my flights and the programme fee. While there, I will be helping to conduct research into conserving sea turtle populations.
My name is Megan Grace and I am a first year undergraduate at the University of Essex studying Law with Philosophy. Animal law is an area that I would like to study further and feel that getting a better understanding of conservation will contribute to this. I spent a year at college gaining a diploma in Animal Management where I learnt about species conservation. Animals have always been a passion of mine as I am very interested in their welfare and the ways in which they can be protected. This aspect is what made me apply to this project as a dedicated vegetarian.
WILDLIFE SENSE PROJECT
Wildlife Sense is a sea turtle research and conservation organisation based on the beautiful island of Kefalonia, Greece. Its mission is to protect endangered sea turtles and their natural habitats, offer a unique learning experience to the volunteers who join its efforts, and promote public awareness. Every year, sea turtles migrate to Kefalonia to forage and reproduce. Female turtles lay their eggs on the sandy beaches of the island. They make significant efforts to find the most suitable locations for their nests, but human and natural threats damage and destroy many eggs. The turtles themselves are regularly injured or killed by accidental boat strikes, entrapment in fishing gear, or after swallowing plastics. These threats push the sea turtles of Kefalonia closer to the brink of extinction.
This will be an interesting, exciting and valuable experience for me where I will help collect vital data to make key management decisions and develop skills in conservation by dealing with sea turtles. I'll be able to build resilience while experiencing a different culture and being able to give something back through get practical experience.
As part of a team, we'll survey the beaches of Kefalonia to find and protect sea turtle nests. We will cycle to the beaches in the early morning and look for fresh turtle nests, then mark, measure, and protect all nests that were laid during the previous night. The primary goal is to protect sea turtle nests against accidental damage and monitor their progress throughout incubation to the hatching stage. As the young turtles hatch, we'll do our best to protect them from light pollution and assure they can safely crawl to the sea. After all healthy hatchlings have left the nests, I'll be involved in conducting nest inventories to assess the fate of every egg and the hatching success of each nest. This will help them to continuously improve their conservation methods and maximise the reproductive success of Kefalonia's sea turtle population. You can visit their website http://wildlifesense.com to learn more about the project.
Where will the money go?
The money raised will go towards:
• My return flight to Kefalonia (which can be up to £300)
• Food - a kitty is offered so I can cook my own meals (£20 per week)
• Personal expenses (up to £150)
The programme fee (of £420) that includes:
• An amazing volunteering hands on experience with sea turtles
• Airport pickup and drop off in Kefalonia, Greece
• Accommodation in apartments shared with the rest of the team
• Researcher t-shirt
• Ongoing training and project operation cost
• Travel insurance
I have some rewards to thank everyone who donates, whatever the amount you might give. These include updates of how the project is coming along, postcards from Kefalonia as well as photos and gifts from my experience in Greece!
Find uPDATES here
I will be posting on my Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/megabout) when I can during my trip and uploading photos of my Instagram (https://www.instagram.com/megabout1/) which you can follow to keep up-to-date with my progress!
Help ME succeed!
You don't need to give money to help me succeed! Please share this project with anyone you think would support us – on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, by email etc. The more people who know about it, the more likely it will work out!
Please sponsor me and help the sea turtles!