Bali, Indonesia - WICKED ADVENTURES will undertake the first Hammerhead Research Expedition in the "Forgotten Islands" of Indonesia. After having discovered an undocumented population of schooling Hammerhead Sharks in the remote ends of the archipelago, they approached the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) for guidance on who to best protect the population from mass tourism or fishing.
Wicked Adventures is now collecting data on both the Hammerhead population as well as on the fisheries and island management of this region, both of which are under the control of tribal and/or feudal-style villages. On location, they will collect and document data on Hammerhead shark behavior, population, conditions, and locations. The data collected will be used by the WWF to establish a nationally recognized Marine Protected Area. The national government has already approved the concept and now awaits baseline data to inaugurate the protected zone.
Wicked Adventures founded, directly funds and oversees a turtle conservation center on Flores, Indonesia. The center is part of the vast Savu Sea Marine Protected Area, designated as such for protection of whales, manta rays and sea turtles. The only turtle conservation center on Flores, their program is a community-based tourism project which focuses on training locals about sustainable tourism practices and turtle conservation. Residents of this impoverished community are now earning ongoing salaries by protecting the turtle nests--the project employs former turtle egg poachers as rangers. Visitors and overnight guests provide the revenue for these incomes. The community is seeing the immediate and direct value in conserving these resources as well as learning applicable skills. The regional government is using this project as a role model for both conservation and community-based tourism development.