Barbados is blessed to be called home by three endangered turtle species: the green turtle, hawksbill, and leatherback. These turtles can be found foraging in the nearshore and nesting across Barbados’ beaches. However, sea turtle populations have plummeted as a result of natural and man-made pressures, such as coastal development, hunting and climate change.
In response to the threats facing sea turtles locally, the Barbados Sea Turtle Project (BSTP) was established in the late 1980s under the guardianship of Professor Julia Horrocks of the Cave Hill Campus of the University of the West Indies.
For the last 30 years, the BSTP has embarked on in-depth and far-reaching programmes of public education, lobbying and advocacy. One of its early successes was to make turtle harvesting illegal in Barbados. The BSTP’s rescue and recovery operations, scientific research and monitoring are all achieved on ad-hoc grant funding.
Visitors can join Barbadians and volunteer their time and services, or make calls to the BSTP 24-hour (+1 246 230 0142) to report sea turtle sightings. For those eco-voluntourists looking to do good during their vacation, the BSTP promises an intense yet immensely rewarding wildlife conservation experience.