About the Wolf Conservation Volunteer Project
This project was established to provide a suitable environment and a safe sanctuary for wolves that can no longer live in the wild. The wolves were either born in captivity in zoos or illegally removed from the wild and raised in illegal captive conditions. The wolves who find refuge here are true ambassadors of wolves in nature, contributing to public awareness for the conservation of one of the last big carnivores in Europe.
The park occupies an area of 18 hectares, its spacious enclosures allow the wolves to have the best natural conditions possible, in large areas containing a wide variety of vegetation and landscape features. Here they can live as similar as possible as in the wild.
Our priority is to respect all wolves and ensure their welfare, and the help of volunteers is essential in supporting this mission. No one is allowed to touch the wolves. Our goal is to give them a similar life to the one they would have in the wild. For this reason, even observing them can be sometimes difficult.
The work is physical and demanding. Most of the time it involves working with manual tools and clearing vegetation in a hot climate. However, it is highly rewarding knowing your work contributes directly to helping conserve this magnificent species.
Typical Volunteer Tasks include;
- Preparation of food and feeding the wolves. (Please note, food preparation involves handling and cutting of raw meat every day, which in the summertime with the heat can take some adapting to, in particular to be aware if you are vegetarian).
- Checking the wolves’ water supplies.
- Monitoring and observation of the wolves.
- Forest maintenance; tree felling and pruning; removal of branches and other materials and subsequent burning; vegetation clearing using agricultural tools and so on.
- During the summer (May to October) watching out for forest fires – can include night shifts.
- Infrastructure maintenance: checking enclosure walls and fences, painting; maintaining pathways in the forest.
Volunteers work approx 7 hours per day: starting at 9 am and finishing at 6 pm (with 2 hours lunchtime). During the summer, the schedule may change and the workday starts earlier and finishes later with a large break during the hottest hours. Volunteers usually have 2 days off (weekends), but extra days are possible if requested in order for you to explore more of Portugal.