The main aim of the project is to assist St. Eustatius National Parks Foundation with the conservation of their two parks – the Marine Park and the Quill National Park. Volunteers will have the opportunity to acquire new skills and knowledge about conservation, the local flora and fauna of Statia and take part in trail work and species monitoring in the parks. St. Eustatius, better known as Statia, is located in the Netherlands Antilles islands of the Caribbean, and is only 8 km long and 3 km wide.
Volunteers are needed to work principally in the Quill National Park on trail maintenance and the creation of new trails into the crater of the dormant volcano as well as with sea turtle monitoring and working in the Botanical Garden for 1 to 2 month periods all year round. Antillean Iguana and Land Crab species monitoring can also be done alongside the trail work, as well sea turtle monitoring which will take place during turtle season.
In addition to the main part of the work, you may also be involved in the following projects: Botanical garden – stone walls need to be built, planting, weeding, maintenance of the garden; Marine Park – you may also have the opportunity to get SCUBA certified (at your own cost) and help out the park managers and interns by maintaining moorings by diving and scrubbing down lines, learning to splice rope, changing buoys as needed etc.
You will work from Monday through to Friday. A typical working day would start at 6/6.30am and involve hiking up the trail to the crater, and starting work at 7am until 11am. The afternoons will be free, where you can rest, dive, snorkel and enjoy the peace of Statia.
You should be at least 20 years old, fit, healthy and capable of carrying out manual work in all conditions in a hot climate. No specific skills are needed, but those with previous experience of manual conservation work, trail work, gardening etc. would be particularly useful, as well as those who are self-motivated, as you will get more out of the project if you are. The project will especially appeal to those with an interest in conservation and tropical botany. Anyone with additional skills, such as ornithology or marine biology (for future sea turtle projects) are especially welcome. The cost for 4 weeks is £720 and 8 weeks is £1260,, which covers all project costs, including all food, lodging in a volunteer house, mountain bike use, gas and gas stove for cooking, drinking water, materials for trail project, all training and supervision by project manager and resident interns, pickup and drop off from airport in Statia, backup and placement support, and so on.