Wildlife conservation is an act of protecting the animal species and their natural habitat, for maintaining a proper ecological balance. The total population of the Earth is more than 7 billion – and with its ever increasing tendency, it is absolutely necessary to contribute towards the wildlife conservation, for the sake of our future generations. Several organizations have come forward to actively take up the cause of wildlife conservation and each one of us should play our part in whichever way possible so that the animals can live a happy and secure life.
Volunteering Solutions has designed a few Wildlife Conservation Projects in different parts of the world. These projects are extremely affordable and crafted in a way so that students and backpackers can be a part – and gain the first-hand experience while making some meaningful contribution.
Let’s take a quick look at the different projects in which you can take part and enjoy the experience of being with the animals:
Elephants, the largest land mammals in the world, are among the endangered animals who are killed for their tusks and skin. In the last 6 decades, there has been a decrease of nearly 50% of the total elephant population and that’s actually alarming. They are mostly found in the tropical and subtropical regions of Asia and Africa.
In Africa, elephants are threatened by the poachers who are hunting for ivory, in spite of the strict anti-poaching laws that have been passed. In Asia, the main cause of threat is the loss of habitation – with an increase of human population in the continent, forests are cut down to make space for residents.
There are 3 amazing volunteering projects in Thailand from which you can choose the one that you find to be the most interesting one. All the project sites are located on the outskirts of the main Thai cities, in suburban areas that are mostly elephant villages or camps, surrounded by lush greenery and tall mountains. The mahouts and their families live in those villages and take care of the huge animals. Volunteers have to stay there at the elephant village with their hosts and participate in the daily activities like taking them for walks, bathing and feeding the elephants. Apart from that, volunteers will also get to know deeply about the lives of the mahouts and learn to cook Thai food
Indian elephants are highly endangered, with very few of them getting to live in the wild and the ever-dwindling forests. Volunteering Solutions facilitates a one of a kind Elephant conservation program in Agra with a leading elephant welfare NGO that aims relocate and take care of abandoned animals and rescues them. The main task involves helping the mahouts in taking care of the elephants.
Volunteers will also get to experience the charm of living in rural India and experience a slow-paced life. This project would be a great opportunity to travel to the three main cities of Northern India – Delhi, Agra, and Jaipur – which together comprises the Golden Triangle!
There are quite a few elephants in the Kegalle town of Sri Lanka, and a small elephant orphanage is there where the little ones are taken care of. Volunteers who are eager to work in Sri Lanka can join this project to gain some unparallel experience of working with the mahouts. The main tasks involve cleaning of the elephant shelters, feeding them as well as taking care of them in the best possible manner. Volunteers also contribute towards the development of the community. They participate in the agricultural procedure as well as teach English to the local kids. Volunteers will also get to assist the Vets whenever required. This program would be perfect for those who want to completely get immersed in the Sinhalese culture and lifestyle apart from volunteering with elephants in Sri Lanka.
As the name suggests, volunteers will have to work for the welfare of the sea turtles. This program is apt for those who are eager to work for marine conservation and contribute towards saving the sea turtles. The main tasks would be to bury the eggs in order to save them from poachers, take utmost care of the baby turtles once the eggs hatch, prepare food for the turtles and hand-feed them and patrol the beach at night. Apart from volunteering, participants would get to relax and enjoy the project location is absolutely exotic! They’ll also have a chance to explore the Sinharaja Forest Reserve, Bundala National Park, Minneriya National Park and more. This would be a great learning opportunity as well.
Costa Rica is a coastal paradise for beach-lovers and the volunteering projects are placed along the Pacific as well as Caribbean coasts. Participants should be ecologically sensitive and enthusiastic about these little ones, whom they’ll have to take care of. The main task would be to look after the nests where the eggs are kept. Apart from that, the regular tasks would be to clean the turtles, feed them, dress their injuries etc. Volunteers will also have to clean the beaches, in order to make them free of plastic bags and other wastes, as well as do night patrolling, in order to save the turtles from the predators. The project sites are about 5-6 hours drive from the capital city of San Jose.
Costa Rica is home to a variety of flora and fauna, and if you are a nature lover – you’ll absolutely fall in love with the place! Volunteers who’ll join this project will get a chance of working in the rescue centers where with animal victims of repossession, loss of habitat and accidents from all across the country are brought by the local officials. The animals and birds are treated here, till they get well enough to return back to their natural habitat. Participants should be empathetic enough, otherwise, they cannot feel the pain of these species who are unable to express through words. This project is meant for those who are eager to spend some quality time amidst nature and gain some good work experience.
Volunteers joining this project will have to work for the protection and preservation of the biodiversity. The main tasks would be – to look after the improvement of the water resources in the National Park as well as the surrounding wetlands, afforestation, and conservation of the natural habitat of species residing there. Volunteers will also have to do data collection and data analysis, as well as other kinds of surveys. Valencia is a beautiful little town in Spain, and participants will get to explore the nearby places as well. While others will have a different idea of traveling to Spain, you can redefine the notion of budget traveling by join this program and contribute meaningfully towards Mother Nature.
This program is organized in association with Ecuadorian Environmental Police (UPMA) and the Ministry of Environment, Ecuador, who are looking into the matter of trafficking, abuse, capture, and hunting of wild animals in the region. Amazon is one of the most popular rainforest zones in the world, with a huge variety of animals dwelling there. There are currently more than 40 different species of animals at this center, including extremely endangered species like Ocelot, Tayra, Capybara, Tortoises, and Caimans amongst others. Volunteers will have to do repairing and construction works, cleaning the enclosures, preparing food for the animals, and assisting the Vet whenever necessary. Experience the goodness of living amidst nature by joining this project.
Volunteers can choose their preferred cities in Australia, as the project spans over most of the popular locations from Melbourne to Canberra and from Sydney to Brisbane! Volunteers will mainly work in the rainforests, and spend quality time amidst nature, taking care of the koalas and kangaroos! This is a great opportunity to know more about the flora and fauna of this little continent. And you can also head towards the Great Barrier Reef and experience the mysteries of the underwater world! It’ll be a great way to know about the Aussie culture and lifestyle while earning some valuable skill and knowledge.
When we think of wildlife, the first name that comes to mind is ‘Africa’! But sadly, the majority of African wildlife are suffering due to human actions since decades, and it seems that there’s no pause to it. Volunteering Solutions has taken this initiative to contribute towards the well being of the wildlife, including the BIG 5. Volunteers work under the guidance of professionals, and the best part of the project is playing with lion cubs! (Yes, you read it right!) Volunteers will also track the lions, and monitor their activities. Volunteers will also get to work at the Elephant sanctuary.
This is one of the most popular projects that’s located in the small town of Denia, nearly 100 km from Valencia. Volunteers will have to do both underwater as well as coastal cleaning and monitoring of animals. The main aim of the project is to make the environment free of the wastes that are gathered due to the adverse effects of tourism. Volunteers will have to monitor whales, dolphins, turtles, and seabirds. Apart from the work, participants can explore the town and interact with the fishermen, know about their work and daily lives.
Being a part of any of the above-mentioned projects will create a learning opportunity for you, and also give you the chance of exploring a new destination while meeting like-minded people from all across the world. If you are a nature lover and want to spend your time doing some good work – then check out the details about the programs. You can also drop a mail at [email protected] to know more about these projects. Reasonable and exciting, these wildlife conservation projects are meant for students as well as gap year travelers and it’ll immensely benefit your career while creating a positive impact on Mother Earth.
If you are still in confusion, take this quiz to decide which conservation suits you the best.
Riyanka is a traveler who is keen on exploring different parts of the world. She’s a travel blogger who’s equally passionate about photography. Her quest is to turn all her journeys into beautiful stories. Being a die-hard ‘mountain-aholic‘, her favorite destinations are all around the Himalayas! She can spend days gazing at the snow-capped mountains, binge on Maggi and lemon-honey-ginger tea, and reading Ruskin Bond books.
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