NParks Biodiversity Beach Patrol

Do you love sea turtles and horseshoe crabs, or have an interest to learn more about them?

Join us for the Biodiversity Beach Patrol, organised by NParks in celebration of International Year of the Reef (IYOR) 2018, and contribute to a citizen science study on these amazing marine creatures.

The Biodiversity Beach Patrol was held from March to September 2018. Please check back for 2019 dates. Volunteers will have to go through a pre-event training workshop before participating in the patrols.

Beach Patrol


What is the Biodiversity Beach Patrol all about?

The Biodiversity Beach Patrol is a citizen science initiative to involve the community in collecting valuable information about sea turtles and horseshoe crabs along Singapore’s south-eastern coastal areas. These patrols will take place at dawn (5.00am to 7.00am), on stipulated dates between March and September.

With the data collected from beach patrols, we can gain a better understanding of which areas sea turtles and horseshoe crabs are found and in what numbers. This information will contribute towards better park management and conservation measures.

The Beach Patrol dates are:

  • 17 and 18 March 2018
  • 1, 2, 16, and 17 April 2018
  • 1, 2, 15, and 16 May 2018
  • 14, 15, 28, and 29 June 2018
  • 13, 14, 28, and 29 July 2018
  • 11, 12, 26, and 27 August 2018
  • 10, 11, 25, and 26 September 2018


How can I participate?

Anyone aged 18 and above can sign up and volunteer with us.

A training workshop on Biodiversity Beach Patrol, involving horseshoe crab and sea turtle identification and survey techniques, will be organised. Volunteers can sign up for a beach patrol after the training workshop. The beach patrols will be conducted in groups of at least 3 but not more than 5.

Registration will open in late 2018. Please check back for more information. 


What happens after I have signed up?

  1. We will email you the details about the training session.
  2. Attend the training which will cover the biology of sea turtles and horseshoe crabs, and basic beach patrol survey techniques. You will also learn how to identify the two horseshoe crab species in Singapore as well as how to identify signs of turtles (eg. flipper marks and broken egg shells) on the beach.
  3. After the briefing, we will send out an email for you to sign up for the Biodiversity Beach Patrol sessions.
  4. One week before your Biodiversity Beach Patrol session, we will send a confirmation email of your beach patrol session and your group.
  5. Head down to your site at 5am, and conduct the Biodiversity Beach Patrol at the designated transect. The beach patrol should take about two hours.
  6. Send the results of your beach patrol to us using our online survey form.

If you have any questions, please email us at with “BBP2018 Queries” as the email subject.


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

  1. I don’t have any biodiversity beach patrol experience. Can I still participate?

    Yes! We will provide training at our workshops, which will cover basic horseshoe crab and sea turtle identification and beach patrol survey techniques. This will enable you to carry out the Biodiversity Beach Patrol.


  2. Do I need any special equipment?

    There is no need for any specialised equipment. All you need is a smartphone with access to the internet.


  3. Is it compulsory for me to attend the training workshop even if I have experience with turtle beach patrols overseas?

    You will be required to attend the training to familiarise yourself with both horseshoe crabs and sea turtles. The training sessions will include lessons on how to conduct the beach patrol properly and instructions for the Biodiversity Beach Patrol.


  4. When and where is the training session?

    There is only one training session, and it will be shared when finalised. 


  5. Will the Biodiversity Beach Patrol be very time consuming?

    The training will take approximately one hour and the Biodiversity Beach Patrol itself will only take one morning (5.00am to 7.00am) during the stipulated beach patrol dates. If you volunteer for more than one beach patrol, you may be required to spend more than one morning for the beach patrols.


  6. How will the data I collect help NParks’ park management and conservation efforts?

    The data on the horseshoe crabs and sea turtles collected during the Biodiversity Beach Patrol will help establish a baseline from which we can monitor the patterns of their populations in Singapore. This will be used to develop management strategies to sustain or even enhance these populations.


  7. Is there a reimbursement for transport since the Biodiversity Beach Patrol starts at 5.00am?

    There will not be any reimbursement for transport. Volunteers have to make their own way to the beach patrol site. 


  8. Can anyone under the age of 18 participate in this event?
    Those under the age of 18 can attend the training sessions and conduct the beach patrol as long as they are accompanied by their parent, guardian, or an older friend. They can be registered under the ‘Volunteers under 18 years old’ section in the Biodiversity Beach Patrol registration form.


Last updated on 29 September 2018

Share this page