100turtles marine waste project

This coming season Naucrates team will work on finding answers to Does the amount of marine debris stranded on the beach affect the sea turtle nesting ground?

While evaluating, we will involve guest, volunteers, children, tourists in beach cleaning events and collecting marine debris. A station will be set up near Naucrates camp, where the evaluation of the amount of debris will be recorded and where we will create a Turtle Sculpture of collected items.

The sculpture will be a big adult, turtle mother, then children will make up to 100 baby turtles, which represent the number of eggs laid in one nest!

Each child that visits or joins volunteering with us can make one, until we reach 100. The sculpture will be placed in the Community Conservation Center at Lions village in memory of Pipap, our beloved friend and long term staff member.

Project changes

We have changed the name of our project to Tropical Island Conservation to better reflect what the project is about. Sea turtle nesting numbers have declined dramatically and although we still focus on monitoring the beaches for turtle tracks and surveying their feeding behavior, we are doing a lot of other things too.

This coming season, starting December 9th we will focus also on the plastic waste issue and hope to create something new around this topic. We continue to raise awareness, survey the coral reefs and other fauna and flora of Koh Phra Thong Island.

Another change we are making for this coming season is the accommodation. We are moving to the beach front. This change is due to Nok and Lamion focusing on their new restaurant on the beach and not having enough time to cater for the project. Accommodation will be in large tents, with beds and electricity in the evenings. There are also few bungalows available for families or shared in groups of 4.

Volunteer stories: Julia’s first day

As volunteers, we assist the staff members in recording data, completing their surveys and wherever we can help. For instance, on my first day, Anik scheduled Susanna and me to do the beach walk –  monitor 5km of the beach (to note, its 10km including the walk back…) to check if any turtle tracks have appeared, recording some data about fishing activities or other human activities, starting at 6:30 in the morning. Although it was a pretty nice, chill and long walk, my feet didn’t do well afterwards and I got some really huge blisters. 🙁

(They healed within a week though, so I wasn’t able to do the walk again so far.) Nevertheless, there is no other way to get around on the island than walking. (Side note: my average distance count is 7km without the beach walk.)

Back to my first day… after that Nok’s wife Lamion (where we stay), made us some really good French toast and fruit for breakfast! Still my highlight of the day. 🙂 For lunch, we had to cross a creek to get to Lory’s, which is basically an eco-friendly resort on this island and a 30 min walk from Nok’s. Unfortunately, it was high tide, meaning the water was up to my chest/neck. Looking foolish with bags on our heads, we crossed the creek safely.By then it was shortly afternoon, so Anik decided to show me the village, where some locals live and Naucrates’ museum is located.

Sometimes we had to get off the sidecar because we were too heavy for the motorbike to make it through the sandy paths (not even roads, to be honest…). By the time we arrived and Susanna showed me around, it was starting to become dark so Anik took us back to Lory’s and we had to walk the rest back to Nok’s, which by this time it had started to rain. If I’d had to describe it with one word: Soaked. Tons of water was coming down at us, so by the time we arrived we were badly soaked.

Yeah, so that was pretty much my first day on the remote island. Lots of “first times” and premiers, but on the whole, it was a very interesting and exciting first day. After dinner, my bed was awaiting me. The fresh breeze let me fall asleep within seconds. Therefore: GOOD NIGHT!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Volunteer stories: Julia’s arrival

Hi,

I’m Julia, 18 years old, from Germany and just finished High School. I joined the Naucrates project for two weeks (1.2-15.2.2018) and hope to get a glimpse of what a conservation project looks like since I haven’t participated in any other before. The only kind of experience I’ve had previously, that seems relevant for this project, was back in high school my so-called subject “Environmental Systems &Societies”, but also some previous diving and snorkeling. I have never been to Thailand before, so let’s see what expects me here.

For my arrival at Naucrates, I chose to take a taxi from Phuket airport to Khuraburi, just because I wanted to arrive safely and had no clue how to travel all by myself. This is actually my first journey alone. So, after the 3,5h drive some boat picked me up and we headed towards the thousands of islands. At the latest by now, I figured that this is not a touristy place at all. Somewhere in between those islands, I got dropped off and another local Thai gave me a ride into the savanna. No roads, no signs, just sand and some dried plants surrounding us. My first experiences of a remote island. All of the sudden, I saw some house-like construction: NOK’s.

There, I was welcomed by three very kind and open people: Anik (Canadian), the current Team leader; Susanna (Finnish), the research assistant and the intern Timo (Finnish). Timo quickly showed me around…. I figured, there is not much comfort as I was used to back home. “At least the toilet flush works”, I thought. Everything was really basic, but enough to feel comfortable and to manage two weeks here.

This is basically where I will be staying for
the next two weeks; barely reception, not working Wi-Fi and no “indoors” as I used to know them back in Germany. Nevertheless, I am already enjoying the nature, its sound and air, not denying the fact that it is extremely lonely and quiet out here, to which I will have to get used to.

Give a gift that matters

Holiday season is approaching and many are giving presents to their loved ones. By donating to Naucrates work on sea turtle conservation, you help us to protect nature and preserve the wildlife for the future generations to enjoy also.

Donating to our cause is easy. Just go to our How to help -page and follow the instructions. You can donate with paypal or bank wire. We are happy to send you a certificate of the donation that you can print and wrap or send by email.

Our conservation work depends on the volunteer contributions and donations, so your gift has a immediate impact to the work we do.  The season starts on the 15th of December. Follow us on Facebook or Instagram  to see how the season progresses and what kind of impact your donation has on our conservation efforts.

Coral reef monitoring

In season 2016-2017 we conducted a reef survey on the nearby reef. This reef is located between Koh Phra Thong and two smaller islands called Koh Pring Jai and Noi, on the west side of Phra Thong. The location is reachable by swimming and kayaks depending on the tide.

In the survey we recorded fish species, invertebrate species and substrate coverage and compared our result to surveys done previous years (2004, 2006 and 2011). The aim was to see how the reef has recovered from the tsunami in 2004 which caused damage to the reef and island.

The surveys were done by snorkeling on the reef. This was a bit more challenging than expected. Weather conditions were sometimes too rough to be able to kayak to the reef or there was strong current which prevented laying the measuring tape on the bottom. Also the methodology is quite demanding and tiring. There was a lot of diving down to the bottom along the 100 meters of transect.

However, with the help of our volunteers, we were able to survey 5 transects on the reef. The results of the survey show that the hard coral coverage has increased and the amount of fish has increased since the 2006 survey.

The reef is still recovering from the effects of the tsunami but lots of fishes can be spotted on the reef and nice corals are seen in the deeper water. Beautiful nudibranchs can be found at the bottom, colorful butterfly fish are swimming among the corals and schools of snappers are swimming over the reef.

Two times after transect surveying a green turtle was spotted swimming along the reef which was amazing to see! It was a quick glimpse of the turtle but still nice to see them under the water. The reef at Koh Phra Thong is naturally quite rocky but the deeper parts of the reef gives a nice look to the beautiful ecosystem of coral reef and we hope to see it there in the future and hopefully in even better condition.

Susanna

Research Assistant, season 2016-2017

Annual meeting in Greece

Let’s celebrate together in Greece

Naucrates XVI Annual Meeting will be held in Athens, Greece on Saturday 21 October 2017. We have changed the date and location due to wanting to join in our long term staff member Pipap’s memorial in Athens.

Objectives:

  • Presentation of activities conducted during the year 2016/17
  • Presentation on the Naucrates Conservation Project, Thailand
  • Approval of the annual balance of the year 2016/17
  • Presentation of future plans
  • Discussion of new member ideas

Everyone is welcome!

All participants must register as Naucrates member for  2017- 2018.

We will update details of the meeting location, accommodation and additional activities as soon as possible.