Join us as we travel to the Caribbean island of Trinidad to study the world’s second largest nesting colony of leatherback sea turtles! This highly endangered turtle is truly a creature of superlatives; it is the largest living reptile (weighing up to 2,000 lbs), one of the deepest diving animals in the sea, and is as ancient as the dinosaurs. Our studies will focus primarily around the nesting colony on Trinidad’s eastern coast at Matura Beach, where one of the world’s finest community conservation organizations, Nature Seekers is responsible for caring for the turtles.
We will work hand in hand at night with the naturalist’s of Nature Seekers as well as conduct our own studies of the turtles. We will also get to know other community conservationists, resource managers and fishers who can provide a ‘real world’ context to our studies of sea turtles and marine conservation.
Since truly learning about real-world conservation of endangered species requires an understanding of the context in which such conservation takes place, we’ll be spending many of our days seeing Trinidad and getting to know its wonderful people. We’ll visit other turtle projects, including the highest density leatherback nesting colony in the world at the north coast village of Grande Riviere (3,000 leatherbacks nest on an 800 meter long beach!). Of course no trip to Trinidad would be complete without also exploring its wonderful jungles, so we’ll hike through its rain forests to tropical waterfalls, track down its elusive troops of howler monkeys and admire its extraordinary bird life. We’ll even venture into the more developed portions of Trinidad with a visit to a steel pan (known to the wider world as the “steel drum”) maker/musician’s workshop and an evening boat tour of the Caroni swamp complete with foraging flocks of scarlet ibises.