Ulithi Atoll: Sea Turtle Research

volunteer vacations
Work together with local community members to study endangered sea turtles on Ulithi's remote beaches, plus snorkel the pristine reefs.


An aerial view of Ulithi Atoll. © Wayne Sentman

Since 2004 we have been working with the community of Falalop on Ulithi Atoll to study nesting green sea turtles (Chelonia mydas) throughout the islands. Research has shown that Ulithi Atoll is home to one of the largest populations of nesting sea turtles in Micronesia, with approximately 1,000 turtles nesting annually. 

In this hands-on volunteer program, you will acommpany researchers to patrol the beaches at night and in the early morning to assess sea turtle nesting activity. Specific tasks include collecting biological data, measuring turtle length and width, checking flippers for external tags, as well as helping with recovery efforts such as rescuing hatchlings stuck in collapsed nests. 

Sea turtle volunteers assist with nest excavation. © Wayne Sentman

A member of the community sea turtle program measures a green turtle in Ulithi Atoll.

For the first few days in Ulithi, we will stay at the comfortable Ulithi Adventure Resort on Falalop Island to enjoy snorkeling, island exploration, and to undergo training in sea turtle data collection. We will then spend 2-3 nights in the rugged tented camp on Loosiep Island, during which we will conduct nightly sea turtle monitoring activities.

Working alongside community members will allow ample time to learn about traditional values and how modernization impacts wildlife conservation in Ulithi and throughout Micronesia. This unique field experience allows full immersion into a community-managed conservation effort that your participation will support.


Day 1-2: Honolulu - Yap
Fly from Honolulu to Yap, crossing the international dateline

Day 3: Yap
Morning island tour.  Afternoon snorkeling.

Day 4: Yap - Ulithi
Fly to Falalop Island in Ulithi Atoll.   Afternoon briefing and beach snorkel. Overnight at Ulithi Adventure Resort.

Day 5: Loosiep Island
Take a day trip to Loosiep Island for familiarization. Learn about the birdlife, snorkel, and conduct a "dry run" of sea turtle beach nest surveys. Return to Falalop to overnight at Ulithi Adventure Resort.

Day 6: Gielop
Take a day trip to visit the community based sea turtle monitoring project on Gielop, and to meet with community members. Return to Ulithi Adventure Resort.

Day 7-9: Loosiep, Sea Turtle Monitoring
Sea turtle monitoring and camping on Loosiep. We sleep on the ground in tents with cat box style bathroom. In the day time we check sea turtle nests and crawls. At night, we count and measure nesting turtles.

Day 10: Falalop
Return to Falalop and meet with community members. Overnight at Ulithi Adventure Resort.

Day 11: Falalop - Yap
Morning beach snorkel.  Afternoon flight to Yap.  Overnight in resort.

Day 12: Fly home

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Upcoming Trips:

click on each trip for more information
May 24, 2014

Trip Cost:

To be announced