Volunteer with Dolphins
Venture into Bunbury, Western Australia where you will volunteer to help with the conservation of dolphins and educate the public about these magnificent creatures! Details >
Experience not only Whale, Dolphin, Shark and Penguin research and monitoring but also community education, environmental issues, ecology and ecotourism Details >
Gain your PADI Advanced dive certification and work alongside esteemed partners such as the Seychelles National Parks Authority on critical marine conservation. Details >
Travel to the Seychelles and engage in crucial conservation initiatives alongside one of the leading marine & terrestrial data collection organisations. 🇸🇨 Details >
Experience Mozambique in 30 Days. Volunteers can expect to have regular in-water encounters with wild dolphins while collecting and entering baseline data. Details >
Join us to gain valuable technical and practical skills on marine mammals in the beautiful Balkan country of Montenegro while joining public outreach actions. Details >
Boat and land based surveys for bottlenose dolphins, collection of different data on cetaceans and other marine fauna, Photo-id matching/ classwork and QGIS analysis. Details >
Learn Portuguese, Teach the staff English, educate the public about the importance to sustain the Amazon Jungle & assist as a guide in exciting overnight survival trips! Details >
Volunteers work with a non-governmental organisation committed to promoting the conservation and sustainable utilisation of marine resources through research, education. Details >
Work with leading marine biologists as they undertake ground-breaking research on the charismatic marine mega-fauna of Southern Africa, including great white sharks. Details >
We look for certified scuba divers to help collecting demographic and behavioral data on a small bottlenose dolphin community impacted by wildlife tourism. Details >
Vivamar is an ambassador between dolphins and humans. We research and inspire conservation of the last resident bottlenose dolphins with helping volunteers. Details >
Volunteer work with Dolphins
Dolphins are truly fascinating marine animals. They can be found in all oceans of the earth and some species even live in big rivers like the Amazon! Dolphins are very social animals and often live in big groups that are called pods. These pods can have up to hundreds of members and they engage in hunting efforts together. Their social and playful nature is also the reason that dolphins can often be seen playing with each other and engaging with other marine animals and even small boats. This is just one of their fascinating and endearing traits. If you want to help to protect these highly intelligent animals you should become a dolphin conservation volunteer!
As a volunteer, you will help protect dolphins from the many dangers they face, along with plenty of other jobs. To name just one example, getting involved in monitoring and research projects is a very important part of the work. There is much that we have yet to learn about these marine animals. This is why research is important and needs to be carried out on a large scale.
If marine conservation is one of your passions and you have a special interest in dolphin conservation, you have definitely come to the right place. Read on to find out what your job as a dolphin conservation volunteer involves and where the different projects are located. You will quickly find out that working at a dolphin conservation project abroad is incredibly rewarding and that you will learn a lot about yourself as well. In what follows, we would like to give you an overview of dolphin conservation projects worldwide and of the tasks, the volunteering work will include.
🐬 Dolphin Conservation in 2023
The worldwide dolphin population has been shrinking continuously over the past decades, but you can become active and do your part to stop this development if you decide to volunteer abroad. As most dolphin conservation projects do not receive a lot of funding from the governments, your help will be even more appreciated. Through your hands-on voluntary work, you will be able to make an immediate impact on a local scale.
🐬 Why are Dolphins Endangered?
Dolphin conservation is part of a large body of marine conservation work around the world. The focus lies on the research of the dolphins’ habitat and behavior to develop ways to protect them from the many threats they are facing, such as:
- rising water levels due to climate change
- pollution of the oceans
- unregulated hunting
- overfishing causing food depletion and bycatch of dolphins
- continuously growing number of boats and ships
🐬 What Dolphin Species are There?
Depending on where your dolphin conservation volunteer work takes you, you will find yourself watching and monitoring different kinds of dolphin species. In fact, there are more than 40 different kinds of dolphins around the world, and most of them are considered endangered. While most of these dolphins call the ocean their home, there are also some dolphin species that live in rivers, like the pink dolphins that can be found in the Amazon. However, river dolphin conservation projects are a rare occurrence. Instead, you will likely come across the following dolphin species during your time as a dolphin conservation volunteer:
- Frasers Dolphin
- Striped Dolphin
- Atlantic Spotted Dolphin
- Short-beaked Common Dolphin
- Rissos Dolphin
- Rough Toothed Dolphin
- Bottlenose Dolphin
- Long-beaked Common Dolphin
- Pantropical Spotted Dolphin
- Amazon River Dolphin
- Spinner Dolphin
- Common Dolphin
- Humpback Dolphin
The dolphins you will observe in Europe are:
- Striped dolphins
- Bottlenose dolphins
- Risso’s dolphins
- Short-beaked common dolphins
It is important to know that some projects that specialize in marine conservation do not only involve dolphin conservation but include whale and shark conservation as well. This means that you could get to work with a variety of marine animals apart from dolphins, like killer whales, humpback whales and many more, depending on your program choice.
🌍 Best Places to Volunteer with Dolphins
Volunteering in dolphin conservation means that you will be stationed somewhere near the ocean. This means you will get the opportunity to take in everything the ocean has to offer during your free time. From snorkeling to swimming or just chilling on the beach. Being close to the ocean means that you will get to enjoy yourself outside of your research and volunteer work.
Many of the current projects are located in Africa, either on the Atlantic or the Indian coast. Tanzania and Mozambique, for example, offer a vast array of marine life which makes them every marine biologist’s dream. You might be surprised to hear that South Africa isn’t only great for watching animals on safari, but also in the sea. Located halfway between Cape Town and Port Elizabeth, the Plettenberg Bay is the ideal spot to observe various species of dolphins and other marine mammals. That’s why multiple projects with different focus have their research centers here. Plettenberg Bay is also part of the famous Garden Route, which makes it great for hiking and discovering nature in your free time.
This might come as a surprise, but the second focus area for dolphin conservation is the Mediterranean Sea and hence Europe. You have the choice between various projects here, for example
- on Ischia island off the Italian coast
- on small Greek islands in the Aegean Sea
- or on the coast of Croatia
The island of Tenerife that belongs to Spain is located off the northwestern coast of Africa in the Atlantic Ocean. For this reason, the number of dolphin species is even bigger here and you also have good chances to spot killer whales and giant blue whales.