'Turtle Rangers' came from a discussion between Dr Michael White [a marine zoologist] & Retire Puapii [Principal of Ruamanu School] during
a LifeSkills Expo at Manihiki (2011). The Rangers' programme has several goals: i) to teach students, especially the Seniors, about the marine environment; ii) to share our experiences with endangered species; iii) to discover culturally-relevant ways of conserving them.

With the approval of the Ministry of Education Dr White taught Senior students at Tongareva & Rakahanga; and also led a teaching day at Palmerston Lucky School during the Rufford Trust Expedition (2012).

We have some old turtle bones that we can use for teaching ~ it helps us
to understand anatomy: measuring Curved Carapace Width

We also have high-tech equipment: teaching GPS use

The Turtle Rangers programme is also aimed at adults. It can be adapted to suit government officers (e.g. fisheries and environment) & interested community members: we work closely with islanders on every atoll ~ making it become real for everyone. We all know that every island is different ~ so the issues and solutions will be different.

We teach biology and ecology, and why sea turtles are endangered; but we focus on the needs of each island. On some atolls everybody is keen to look after their resources; on some others - especially cash economies - the inhabitants may not think about the environment so much.

Our goal is to build a real team on each atoll who will monitor sea turtles, and they decide how best to manage them. This involves Island Councils as well as the school children: they will inherit whatever we leave them ~ for good or bad!