Earlier this week, the Virgin Islands National Park resource management team shared its need for assistance in monitoring the beaches of St. John for sea turtle nesting activity. Dedicated individuals will be responsible for conducting early morning beach surveys from July to November.
Tasks include walking an assigned beach at least 1-2 times a week looking for signs of nesting activity, interpreting crawls, and recording/submitting necessary data. Volunteers may have the chance to assist park staff with nest excavations, night surveys, turtle rescues, and educational outreach programs.
The volunteer commitment will require at least 1-2 hours each week until November. Transportation to and from the beach will be the volunteer’s responsibility. Possible risks may include traversing thick vegetation, steep rocky terrain, slick or unstable surfaces, and exposure to inclement weather.
VINP requests volunteers to attend one of the following trainings at Hawksnest Beach:
- Tuesday, June 19 from 9:00 – 11:00 am
- Tuesday, June 19 from 5:30-7: 30 pm
- Thursday, June 21 from 9:00 – 11:00 am
The training will cover general biology and ecology of the three species (hawksbill, green and leatherback) commonly found in the USVI. Specific nesting behavior and monitoring protocols will also be discussed in detail. A portion of this training will take place on the beach where attendees will analyze sample crawls and demonstrate beach surveys. Volunteers are encouraged to bring sun protection and water.
More trainings will be scheduled as needed. Volunteers are only required to attend one training session. Returning volunteers are encouraged to attend, but it is not obligatory.
Available seats are limited for this training. If interested, please e-mail program coordinator Adren Anderson at: [email protected] to sign up or discuss scheduling conflicts.