Focus: Conservation, Marine biology.
Naucrates conservation project is based at Lion village, on Phra Thong Island, South Thailand. For the last 15 years the Naucrates research team has been working on sea turtles, mangrove and coral reef conservation. The project has recently started to work on seagrass monitoring and freshwater and land turtles. Naucrates works closely with the local community of Lion Village in collaboration with Mangrove Action Project (MAP) and Andaman Discoveries (AD) organizations. Naucrates, an Italian NGO, has been running the Conservation Project on Phra Thong island since 1996 in collaboration with the Phuket Marine Biological Center (PMBC). The project is registered at the NRCT.
The main fieldwork is carried out every year from November to April. Naucrates needs staff members and volunteers who are willing to learn about Thai wildlife and conservation to help monitor long beaches, to teach English and conservation to the local community, to enjoy the beauty of a tropical and remote island and to work actively towards the preservation of the local nature. Since 1996, we have found and protected nests belonging to 3 different species of marine turtles: Leatherback, Olive Ridley and Green turtles. Many volunteers from different countries have helped to collect valuable information, apply conservation strategies enhancing exchange of cultures. On 26 December 2004 the project was completely washed away. Our little museum, the volunteer huts, the instruments, the turtle tank, etc, were lost to the Andaman Sea. However, this is a material loss and nowhere near comparable to the loss of two members of the Naucrates team who were working on the island that day. After the tsunami, the Naucrates staff continues to provide assistance towards the conservation of the island working in the field every year. A Conservation Community Center (CCC) was set up using two other houses in the village. The Center includes a display room on natural resources and community traditions, a tye die laboratory, a gadget shop and a meeting room. The CCC aims to provide information about the island flora and fauna, likewise about their inhabitants and their traditions.
The project is mainly working towards the conservation of natural resources of the island, collecting information and applying conservation strategies; at the same time the project works on developing capacity in the local community, providing training and support.
Costs & Benefits
Volunteers follow a conservation research program coordinated by the Naucrates staff. Training on daily activities and on Thai culture will be provided on their arrival on the island.
They are required to monitor beaches (15 km) , to conduct behavioural observation on turtles feeding and to assist nest hatching. Every day duties will include monitoring nesting beaches either during the night or early in the morning. In the afternoon, other activities such as collecting data on the beach, preparing materials for schools, etc., will be carried out. Activities to improve the garden, the display, etc., of the CCC will be scheduled.
The tortoise and freshwater survey will require some daily activities such as the application of non-harmful trapping, species identification and villager interviews. The seagrass monitoring programme involves specific training, which will be provided to those who are interested in joining in the work.
Environmental education will be conducted in the village and meetings will be set up with villagers to discuss conservation. English classes will be carried out with the assistance of volunteers. Informative talks on a variety of topics and activities are regularly given, providing basic knowledge and information on conservation work and policy.
Volunteers can request specific talks. Volunteers work in shifts and therefore activities will vary from day to day.
The contribution required to take part in the project is 397 Euros for the first week; any additional week is 347 Euros. Special rate are available for Thai Volunteers and student internships. What’s included in the price: Pre-arranged volunteer placement; Accommodations in a village homestay, Three meals a day (vegetarian option available), Drinking water, Daily transportation to the project site, Pre-departure and local support, Orientation and training in field work, Volunteer coordination, Volunteer information package, One year Naucrates membership. Not included in the price: Travel expenses to reach the island, insurance
No experience is needed, however volunteers must be willing to work hard as the research requires long walks (up to 10 km) in warm and humid conditions. They also need to be friendly and communicative, be able to work in a group and live in a small Thai community.
They will be on a remote tropical island and need to be prepared to live without night life, shops, television, etc. They will have a lot of free time during the day to walk and explore the beauty of the island or to read a book. Any health issues must be advised before booking.
Volunteers will be based in a Thai village and should be open and prepared to live respecting Thai culture and habits.
Be over 18years old.
Location: Phra Thong Island, South Thailand
Average cost per day:55 euros
Focus: Conservation, Marine biology
Skills needed:All volunteers must be over 18 years old