Wildlife conservation, community and environmental volunteer projects and internships worldwide

Dolphin & Whale Research Volunteer Project, Portugal

1 Week+ from

minimum age

  • Help to conserve dolphin & whale populations in the Mediterranean
  • Gain experience in boat and land based marine conservation techniques
  • Enjoy the culture and surroundings of Albufeira with fellow international volunteers
  • Explore the beautiful Algarve coastline of southern Portugal

Useful Information About Portugal

Seabirds on cliffs in Algarve PortugalThe climate in Portugal is temperate with mild springs and autumns, warm and dry summers and cold winters. During the field season, May to October, the temperature will vary on average between 17˚C and 29˚C.

The fieldwork is conducted from a dedicated research boat (time at sea from 4 up to 6 hours) and dolphin-watching boats with trips that can last up to 2 to 3 hours. During the fieldwork we are exposed to the sun with no protection from the elements, so participants should come prepared, however, even in hot days, it can get cold and windy at sea so it is advised to bring some warmer clothes as well.

To read more about Portugal’s climate, geography, history, culture and biodiversity please click here.

What to expect day to day as a volunteer and during your free time

Cetacean research volunteers on boat in Algarve, PortugalThe fieldwork usually starts at 8 AM and is mainly conducted from Albufeira’s marina. The practical component of the volunteering can vary between 2 to 8 hours each day spent at sea, according to the daily activities, boat availability and the weather conditions. During your stay you will have opportunities to participate in several dedicated research trips on the research boat Ketos, and also on the boats of the dolphin watching companies that collaborate with our NGO.

At the end of each day you’ll also be asked to introduce your trip data (e.g. behaviour, group composition, GPS position, weather conditions, reaction of the animals to the surrounding boats) in our database and participate in the photo identification work and preliminary data analysis. Every team member shares all the house chores, such as cooking and cleaning, so the office work is combined with the housework at the end of the day. Since days can get quite long and heavy, all the activities are distributed by the team leader to avoid any work overload. In case of bad weather, there may be a day off or an office day, which will be the team leader’s decision according to the project’s needs.

You will have 1 day off during the week, to relax, enjoy and to get the chance to do some local tourism. On the rest of the days, when all the tasks have been completed, participants have free time. The field base has a TV with USB reader so participants can bring movies or TV series to watch. Albufeira is a very touristic city with famous beaches, intense nightlife, cultural events, beautiful surroundings, amazing weather and food, and close from other interesting places like the natural reserve of Ria Formosa or the ancient castle of Silves, just to name a few.

Dolphin & Whale Research Volunteer Project, Portugal

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