Monday, 15 June 2015
MCS turtle puppets go international!
Sea Champions Tom and Claudia have been helping our Volunteer Coordinator Matt up in Scotland for a couple of years now, during which time they've become a dab hand at talking to the public about marine conservation. It's great to see them taking our trusty turtle and jellyfish activities over the water to Costa Rica. Tom tells us a bit more about what they've been up to.
Having volunteered with MCS for a few years whilst at university, my girlfriend and I had the opportunity put these skills into practice a bit further afield. The Osa Peninsula of Costa Rica is one of the most bio-diverse places on earth, and it was here that we were lucky enough to work as Research Assistants with the NGO Latin American Sea Turtles (LAST).
In-between tagging hawksbills (Eretmochelys imbricata) and green turtles (Chelonia mydas), replanting mangroves and surveying sea grass beds, we also worked on community outreach programs around the country. Having made many turtle puppets and egg carton jellyfish with children around Scotland at various MCS events, we were well equipped to now do these activities with Costa Rican kids!
Leatherback turtles (Dermochelys coriacea) visit the UK in the summer to feed on jellyfish, but then return to the Caribbean and Central America to nest. It was very exciting to know that the turtles we were teaching about in the UK were probably the same ones as in Costa Rica! This just shows the importance of international protection and education, and that what we do at home can affect animals from across the other side of the planet.