Sea Turtle Hatchery & Head-Starting Programs

All 7 species of sea turtle on the planet today are on the endangered species list, with populations of some reduced by 98%. However, local interventions and mitigation measures have shown to be successful in maintain and restoring populations in many locations around the globe. In this course, participants will learn about sea turtle conservation strategies and participate in locally-run programs aimed to protect and even increase local populations.  Depending on the location, this may include hatchery, head-starting, rehabilitation, and release programs.



  • Learn about the ecology, evolutionary history, and threats to sea turtles
  • Understand the basics objectives and techniques behind sea turtle hatchery and head-starting programs as well as the science and debate about such initiatives
  • Attend a briefing on the local sea turtle program and understand how the program is integrated with the local community
  • Know how to properly handle, care for, and feed sea turtles in hatchery, nursery or rehabilitation programs
  • Know how to monitor sea turtle health and growth


  • Attend 1 lecture and 1 practical briefing
  • Take data on sea turtle growth (weight and shell length) if at a nursery or rehabilitation program
  • Attend 1 lecture and 1 practical briefing
  • Perform at least three of the following activities:
    • Take data on sea turtle growth (weight and shell length)
    • Perform cleaning, feeding, and maintenance activities
    • Undertake night beach patrols
    • Learn how to protect and/or relocate sea turtle nests to a hatchery
    • Take data on nesting sea turtles
    • Take data on hatching success rates
  • Complete exam

Expected course time about 2-3 hours

Certification Card