“Swimming With Sea Turtles in the Bahamas” kicked off its 2014 research season on February 13th with a team of 9 spirited and eager volunteers. A second team of 8 volunteers arrived on April 10th to continue monitoring and data collection.
Turtle activity is strongest in the mid-summer to fall months, and this is when the majority of data collection will take place. The next teams of Earthwatch volunteers are due to arrive in the field at the end of June, and will consist of two dozen teenagers. Earthwatch reserves portions of many of its programs specifically for teens, who will receive a modified curriculum designed to enhance their learning experience, and provide them with additional resources they can use as they decide their future plans for higher education and careers. Earthwatch has a notable track record of inspiring teens to pursue science careers, including some who have gone on to become Earthwatch scientists themselves!
The 2014 research season in the Bahamas will conclude with a flurry of activity from 5 consecutive teams of volunteers from August 22nd – November 16th, with each team joining the research for 10 days. At this time, we expect that more than 60 volunteers will have participated and more than $150,000 will have been raised to support the many costs of this critical research, ranging from boat maintenance, to field and lab equipment, to room and board for the volunteers.
Thank you for your ongoing interest in and support of Earthwatch’s turtle conservation work in the Bahamas! None of this work would be possible without the commitment and generosity of donors like you!
Swimming With Sea Turtles in the BahamasCape Eleuthera Institute, Eleuthera Island, the BahamasEarthwatch Scientists: Annabelle Brooks, Dr. Karen Bjorndal, Dr. Alan Bolten
Thank you for your generous contribution to Earthwatch’s “Swimming With Sea Turtles in the Bahamas” research expedition! The 2014 research season for this project is about to begin, on February 13th, and will operate until November 16th. We look forward to providing you with real-time participation and research updates throughout the year. In the meantime, here’s a brief summary of the research and activities your thoughtful donations are helping to make possible.
In order to save the green sea turtle and the hawksbill sea turtle from further decline, researchers need to ensure their habitats are protected from coastal development. But where exactly are these turtles most likely to be found, and why? With your help, these are the critical questions that Earthwatch scientists and volunteers will try to answer. The data they collect will then help researchers and the government create plans that will protect the right habitats – and the most turtles - from further harm. The research focuses on five objectives:
Earthwatch scientists and volunteers will work towards these objectives using the following research methods:
As you can see, there is a LOT of work to be done this year in the Bahamas in order to gain the knowledge and understanding needed to successfully protect the green sea turtle and hawksbill turtle from further endangerment, and none of it would be possible without the generosity of donors like you. Thank you for your ongoing support of this research!
Heather Wilcox Director of Annual Giving & Advancement Services
P.S. If you are considering taking the plunge yourself and volunteering on this expedition – which we strongly recommend! - you can learn more about it here:
Earthwatch and the scientists we support in their efforts to stave off extinction for the great panda are pleased to be able to report that from May to October of 2012, more than 50 individual volunteers traveled at their own expense to Chengdu, Sichuan, China to assist vital research efforts on seven different teams. Along with the support of Global Giving donors, including, especially, those who found this project through Animal Planet's 2012 R.O.A.R. campaign, they stood up for pandas and their habitats in the face of possible extinction.
Pandas face a rough set of odds in China and elsewhere: they are slow to breed, do not produce many offspring, are naturally curious and trusting, have sensitive nutrient needs, and their habitats are under tremendous threats from development, climate change, and other blows to biodiversity.
With your help, though, the researchers on this project took steps forward in 2012 in both reintroducing some pandas to the wild in protected areas, and in continuing a successful captive breeding project to preserve the species.
Here are just a few comments from Earthwatch volunteers who fielded on this project between May and October, 2012, and whose work you helped support:
"Being able to photograph and touch actual pandas were some of the best parts of this experience. 'Panda Kindergarten' at the base was great because the pandas were so active and you could see the babes in the nursery. The dedication shown by the project leaders, our guides, and the panda keepers was inspiring. It's wonderful to know that we contributed to efforts that may keep these animals from becoming extinct."—Keiko Y.
"It was a privilege to be with this endangered species."--Edward P.
"This project is gaining so much knowledge about how to reintroduce pandas to the wild. It's clear the scientists all feel this work will experience great successes down the road."--Connie A.