Jun 4

Summer is upon us in the Northern Hemisphere and members of the Arkive Team can often be caught daydreaming at our desks about lemurs in Madagascar or giant tortoise in the Galapagos. This got us wondering what volunteer field opportunities might be out there for quenching both our wanderlust and interest in supporting conservation.

Below is a list of incredible chances to get up close and personal with species and the researchers that have dedicated their lives to them. Talk about a once in a lifetime experience! Which of these are your favorite?

Cheetah Conservation/Administrative (Namibia)

juvenile-cheetah-head-portrait

Juvenile cheetah

We originally mentioned this amazing opportunity with the Cheetah Conservation Fund in the story that kicked off our Arkive’s Conservation Heroes Series. Volunteers are needed to assist with data entry and other office related tasks but they will also help with chopping up meat for feeding the cheetah along with collecting and cataloging scat samples – joy!

Deer Herbivory Study (Seattle, Washington)

Odocoileus-virginianus-clavium-doe

White-tailed deer doe

Wolves are recolonizing northeast Washington state in America and scientists at the University of Washington can use some help discovering how the reintroduction of this species is affecting white-tailed deer grazing. Volunteers joining this study (available in two week increments) may have the opportunity to practice radio telemetry, install trail cameras, review camera footage and more. Talk about a serious resume-booster!

Fairywren Personality Study (Melbourne, Australia)

The white-winged fairy-wren is a close relative of the superb fairy-wren that is part of this study

Calling all bird fans! Volunteers are needed to help the University of Melbourne monitor a color-banded population of superb fairywrens to study their personalities. They will also census the birds as well as search and monitor their nests – amazing. We’re checking our passports for the minimum 6 blank pages as we speak!

Biological program – Habitat Restoration (Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge)

Laysan duck vocalizing

This opportunity has it all: habitat restoration, invasive species removal, bird nest monitoring, and all in a ridiculously beautiful island in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. Volunteers will join the United States Fish and Wildlife Service with native plant propagation and even helping to remove ocean debris before it pollutes the health of the local animals and environment.  Overall, a total win-win!

Galapagos Turtle Center – Conservation (Galapagos Islands)

Volcan-Alcedo-tortoise-in-habitat

Volcan Alcedo tortoise in habitat

You had us at Galapagos! Volunteers with the Intercultural Outreach Initiative Galapagos will feed and care for tortoises, maintain their enclosures, and measure their shells for growth charts. They will also educate tourists about tortoises and inform them of rules and regulations. Where do we sign up?!

Giraffe and Wildlife Conservation Project (Nairobi, Kenya)

Male-southern-giraffe-drinking-at-waterhole

Male southern giraffe drinking at waterhole

This project has really piqued our interest, not just because it involves working with the amazing species and habitats of Kenya, but because part of the experience involves tracking large mammals alongside young Masai Mara. If you are interested in the intersection of conservation and culture, this is for you! Volunteers with Life Net Nature assist with new studies of Masai giraffe nursery groups and help monitor wildlife. The volunteer dates are scheduled at peak wildebeest migration period – as if we needed any more reason to join!

Monitor Endangered Lemurs (Madagascar)

Black-and-white ruffed lemur resting, close up of head

For all lovers of lemurs, have we got a treat for you. Join the Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium to help gather information on lemur habitat usage, population dynamics, and territorial range, all of which will aid in conservation of these endangered species. Imagine walking the forests of Madagascar with researches tracking and observing radio-collared lemurs. Yep, we’re in!

Gadoli and Manda Khal Fee Simple Estates – Habitat restoration (Uttarakhand, India) 

The forests of the Gadoli and Manda Khal Fee Simple Estates are prime habitat for leopards

Previously highlighted in our Arkive’s Conservation Heroes series, volunteers would assist with The Gadoli and Manda Khal Wildlife Conservation Trust with restoration and reforestation of degraded forest within the estates. They would also help with surveys of the flora and fauna of the area and work with local school children to share the importance of this special place.

To learn more contact Subir Chowfin: thcmchowfin@yahoo.com

Note that, while the Arkive Team is sharing these opportunities with you, we are not responsible or liable for the integrity or safety of the programs or the entities that have organized them. We just think these are pretty amazing opportunities and strive to help spread the word of species and the organizations dedicated to helping them to survive. If you like this feature, let us know in the comments and we’ll bring you more!

 

 William Lazaro, Arkive Social Media Intern, Wildscreen USA 

Mar 6

Sometimes, an honest and heartfelt story of how one person connected to a quiet space in nature can be a welcome reminder to embark on our own explorations now and then. The following story from Shamim Graff, a volunteer and frequent visitor to Lake Katharine, shares why these 85 acres have meant the world to her as part of our Going WILD in Illinois series. 

My Woods

Tucked away between highways and a sanitary canal lies the 85 acres that make up Lake Katherine Nature Center and Botanic Gardens in south suburban Chicago. When I first started getting to know the area, I had no idea that such a place could exist out of view of the busy city streets. I had grown up never more than a mile from open land, so the idea of a large natural area in the city was very foreign. My first visit to Lake Katherine found me strolling along the south side of the lake with my finance and his parents. I couldn’t have known the kind of connection I would soon form with Lake Katherine.

The American bullfrog, white-tailed deer, and eastern cottontail can occasionally be spotted at the Lake Katherine Nature Center and Botanic Gardens

As I began graduate school, I visited again, this time to talk with staff about some projects I was interested in doing if they were agreeable to them. I found myself spending more time at Lake Katherine, usually doing project work and not leaving much time for exploration. But I enjoyed coming and it was always a treat to be able to watch sunsets over the lake before heading home.

Lake Katherine Sunset

Lake Katherine sunset

Needing more time to connect with nature, I again started taking an occasional walk around the lake or a short hike down some of the other trails. One spring afternoon, I found myself alone on the east trails, a little-visited area of the park.

LK - Eastern Trail LK - Upper Eastern Trail

As I walked through the woods, I at once felt deeply connected to them in that place in that moment. These were my woods and they were inviting me in.

Shamin Graff, Volunteer, Lake Katherine Nature Center and Botanic Gardens

I think we’d all like to be invited for a walk in those woods with you, Shamim! Thanks so much for sharing such a touching and personal story of a time you connected with the WILD in Illinois. See if you find yourself invited into the IL natural world while exploring our new Illinois feature page!

About

RSS feedArkive.org is the place for films, photos and facts about endangered species. Subscribe to our blog today to keep up to date!

Email updates

Sign up to receive a regular email digest of Arkive blog posts.
Preferred frequency:

Arkive twitter

Twitter: ARKive