All 7 species of sea turtle on the planet today are on the endangered species list, with populations of some reduced by 98%. Divers form a network that is integral in the identification and monitoring of sea turtle populations around the globe. In this course, participants will learn about the ecology of sea turtles, threats to health, and multiple techniques used by professionals around the globe to track and ID individuals in their area and contribute to conservation efforts. 

Prerequisites

  • Be certified as an Adventure Diver (having conducted the Peak Performance Buoyancy, Navigation, and Deep or Multi-level dives).
  • Demonstrate proper diving ability at an Advanced Level and be proficient in buoyancy and self-awareness skills

Standards

  • Learn about the ecology, evolutionary history, threats to sea turtle population around the globe
  • Learn how to recognize issues with sea turtles and how to mitigate local threats to their health and survival
  • Understand various techniques to identify sea turtles and track their populations using photodocumentation
  • Understand how turtle sightings are coded and recorded into local databases

Requirements

  • Attend the lecture on Sea Turtle Ecology and Monitoring
  • Complete the Sea Turtle Ecology and Monitoring Exam and score at least 80%
  • Attend the practical briefing prior to the observation dive
  • Complete at least 1 dive to attempt to find and observe sea turtles (note: if sea turtles are not found participants can still receive the certification)
  • If a sea turtle is observed, collect relevant data and photographs as per local standards
  • Attend debriefing and data entry (if no turtles were found, briefing will still be giving as if a turtle was observed to theunderstand ID process)

Expected course time about 4 hours, with 1 dive

This course is a prerequisite for the Sea Turtle Hatchery and Head-starting Course.