A Day in the Life of a Sea Turtle Savior

Meet Dickson Motui, one of the Arnavons' conservation officers, who is working to preserve one of the Pacific's greatest habitats.

Meet Dickson Motui, a Conservation Officer with the Arnavons Community Marine Conservation Area (ACMA) in the Solomon Islands.

For weeks at a time, Dickson lives here, working to protect the Arnavon Islands and the important nesting sites they provide for Hawksbill Sea Turtles.

Dickson's actual home is Kia Village. A short boat ride away from the ACMCA, Kia is one of three villages that united to protect the Arnavons and their incredible diversity of marine life.

Much of Dickson's work consists of patrolling the Arnavons' waters with his fellow conservation officers, discouraging turtle poachers.

Patrols sometimes lead to "rodeos," in which Dickson dives into the water to capture and tag a sea turtle.

Believe Dickson when he says that hefting a 100-pound-plus sea turtle into the boat for tagging is no easy task.

Because of the Arnavons' isolation, Dickson and the conservation officers must also fish for food during their patrols.

Dickson will cook and share his catch with the two other conservation officers living and working in the Arnavons.

At night, the officers go out to check up on the sea turtle nests that have been laid along the Arnavons' beaches.

If a clutch of eggs is hatching, Dickson and his colleagues will lead the hatchlings to sea by clearing a path and lighting the way.

And if a female sea turtle is laying a clutch, Dickson will check to see if the turtle is tagged before checking up on her eggs.

If the eggs have been laid in a place where they can be easily found by predators--say, birds or crocodiles--Dickson and the officers will move the nest to higher, safer ground.

It's been a full day of work, but a rewarding one. Dickson celebrates the knowledge that he's helped protect a new generation of sea turtles by taking in one of the greatest views in the South Pacific.