This summer I had a chance to go to Northern Cyprus with a mission to improve nest hatching conditions for sea turtles. As the sea turtle nests are usually laid in the sea beaches they are vulnerable to various predators, mainly dogs and foxes. Special protective cages that are installed on every nest by the local turtle conservation organisation serve as a barrier for such threats. During the trip, me and the other 2 engineering students undertaking this self-proposed volunteering project have made numerous visits to sea turtle populated beaches to examine the currently used nesting cages and understand it’s structure. Then, we have arranged meetings with coordinators of different turtle preservation organisations. Here, we have gained an in-depth insight on nesting cage installation, their design consideration, limitations and problems. Through an informative discussion we managed to identify the common issues associated with employed cages. Having done an extensive research on cage designs, that were being used around the world, we managed to come up with an effective modification of the current cage design that would drastically reduce the rate of nest predation improving the hatchling survivability. This is especially important in the Northern Cyprus as the Mediterranean loggerhead and green turtles are currently considered endangered. This experience allowed me to apply and advance my engineering skills and knowledge gained at university on a real-life problem. Having engineered a suitable modification for the protective sea turtle nest cage has not only greatly improved my understanding of sea conservation technology, but also provided me with hands-on engineering problem-solving experience which would be highly relevant for my future career in engineering. Furthermore, participating and planning a volunteering project in Northern Cyprus has given an invaluable international experience as well as improved my time management, planning and team collaboration.
Sea turtle preservation in Northern Cyprus
Categories: Europe, Go Abroad Fund