Frequently Asked Questions:
Why sea turtles?
Justifications for preserving any species in any environment include: it is ethical for all species to have a chance to survive despite human-caused disturbances, biodiversity is vital for ecosystem stability, all organisms play a role in our environment (even if not immediately obvious)... and many more!
Sea turtles are very important in the Mediterranean and around the world for many reasons. They keep jellyfish populations at optimum levels which provide ideal conditions for many other marine species, maintains a healthy oxygen concentration in the water and prevent dead jellyfish from washing up on our shores. These, as well as the other things that turtles do, are important to local economies as well as the environment.
Unfortunately, there is a large lack of education and conservation initiatives relating to this gentle, prehistoric, and important animal. Groups such as these are often the best and only way that information about sea turtles can spread, and help protect the dynamics of the sea.
Sea turtles are migratory animals and usually not social. However, there are some hotspots in the world's oceans that are important for either feeding or mating - both essential to the survival of this endangered species, as with any species. The waters surrounding Lampedusa happens to be a place for both! Lampedusa is also an important location for the fishing industry in the Mediterranean, so it is well-situated when considering the organization's reliance on fishermen and other boats in having injured or sick turtles brought to the Center.
How long has this facility been open?
How do I get to Lampedusa?
There are two ways to access the island from Italy. Danish Air Transport and Wizz Air are particularly popular choices. If you are coming from outside of Italy there are other airlines that you can fly with. Be aware that schedules and availability may vary based on the time of your visit. Flights may be found on their websites. If these are unavailable there is also a ferry - Siremar. If interested in volunteering, email us is you have any concerns.
where would I stay as a volunteer?
The volunteer housing location is continually changing due to different group sizes. But rest assured that it will suit your basic needs and will be walking distance from the center. You will be living with other volunteers all here for the same reason as you! You will need to have a community mindset as all meals are prepared collectively. You will surely sample many international foods and create lifelong friendslips! Check out the Volunteer FAQ page for more focused information about volunteering.
Is the Lampedusa Turtle Group a part of the WWF?
This project was started with WWF funding in 1990. Although we are not considered a part of the organization the Lampedusa rescue center continues to work closely with WWF groups in Italy and the Mediterranean.