Faunawatch has been committed to animal welfare and the protection of (endangered) species since 2012. Through national and international projects in the field of education and wildlife research, we tackle problems at the grassroots level so that we can implement sustainable and well-founded solutions. The coming period, we will particularly focus on the care of dumped and neglected tortoises and turtles and our international education projects.

In the Netherlands, an estimated 200,000 turtles have been dumped in the wild. These pose a threat to local flora and fauna and often die a slow starvation death. In 2020, we therefore started to look into tortoise and turtle sanctuaries. Since, contrary to what people often think, turtles are not easy animals to keep and the legislation regarding the shelter of invasive species, such as the pond slider, is very extensive, there are very few turtle shelters in the Netherlands. However, the demand for shelters is huge. After extensive preparations, we started the search for a suitable location, writing protocols and applying for the right permits in 2021. The actual construction of the shelter finally started in 2022. The shelter was officially opened in October of the same year, although the first turtles were already being cared for. Because over 95% of the turtles that are registered have abnormalities or are sick due to poor nutrition and housing, the turtles require a lot of individual care. Therefore, we have chosen to focus entirely on tortoise and turtle care (for now).

Besides the tortoise and turtle sanctuary, we do remain active in the field of education. As education is crucial for creating support for positive changes for animals, nature and the environment, this continues to be our focus.

We work exclusively with specialised volunteers, so that we have in-house knowledge and all funds can be used directly for our projects. Volunteers can learn from each other, become more experienced and use the volunteering as an internship. Do you want to use your knowledge and skills for the protection of unique animal species? Click here and see how you can help us!

about us

On the left Tim Huijsmans (President), in the middle Gaston Huijsmans (Vice-President) and on the right Ivi Huijsmans (Secretary).