Wildlife Volunteering and Wildlife Conservation
If you are a wildlife lover, wildlife volunteering is one of the most rewarding holidays you can take. There are many biologists and scientists working on different wildlife conservation projects all over the world who are working with endangered species and trying to inspire people with how beautiful, important and remarkable these creatures are and what a shame it’d be to lose them.
Animal conservation needs a joined-up approach i.e. there is no chance of saving a species and its habitat if you do not first see its country as a political and social entity and harness local human populations to engage with the plight of their native species – to learn to love and be proud of their country’s creatures.
Wildlife conservation projects can contribute directly to the continuing existence of certain species, for example, the mountain gorillas in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest: Western visitors pay the wages of the rangers who work hard to protect the remaining gorillas and, without their money, the forests would be pulled down and all would be lost.
If you are considering volunteering for animal conservation it is worth bearing in mind that there are some occasions where the dictum: ‘look but don’t touch’ should be considered, particularly when it comes to wildlife and sentient creatures. The irony is that the more you love something, the closer you want to get – yet your very proximity can bring it more harm than good. Many animals should not be forced into human interaction as they are wild, not domestic. Often, watching animals living freely in their natural habitat can be a lot more rewarding than giving them a cuddle.
There is a great range of wildlife conservation holidays on offer, as well as working with endangered species, you can help preserve entire ecosystems. You may find yourself as a jungle volunteer, monitoring endangered Macaw's, digging seed beds in the bio garden, carrying and planting seedlings as part of the reforestation and carbon sequestration programme or working with local children in the ecology club. Or you could be a rainforest volunteer - rainforests are critically important to their region’s biodiversity, providing essential soil stabilization and carbon storage. But they are under constant threat from unsustainable logging practices and climate change.
Whether you choose to help on animal conservation projects, volunteer in the jungle or volunteer in the rainforest, the work you do will be invaluable and you will be uplifted by how constructive human intervention can be, in the wake of our careless destruction.
Wildlife holidays in Madagascar
It is not surprising there are so many wildlife tours to Madagascar, the island has fascinated several generations of naturalists to the extent that some of them devote their entire lives to studying its wildlife. Wildlife holidays in Madagascar can take you from the arid bush of the south to the luxuriant vegetation of the East, there is a wide variety of altitudes, temperatures and rainfalls.
A Madagascar wildlife tour could see you standing beneath the Indri (one of the island’s largest lemurs), listening to its haunting call, finding camouflaged chameleons or enjoying magical night walks which reveal nocturnal geckos and frogs. You will find many wildlife tours to Madagascar allow you to observe lemurs in their natural habitat, including the popular ring-tailed, sifaka, and Indri lemur species.
There are several National Parks and reserves on this island and eco tours to Madagascar will support efforts to their continued conservation. Eco tours in Madagascar try to demonstrate to the local population the economic advantages of preserving their natural heritage rather than destroying it for short-term gain.
A Madagascar wildlife tour will ensure you have many enchanting encounters with lemur species, chameleons, geckos, and endemic birds on day and night walks, as well as enjoy the beautiful reefs and marine life of this idyllic tropical island.
Want to know more about wildlife holidays before you go?
Find out more about wildlife holidays by reading these wildlife articles.
It’s no wonder that wildlife holidays are so popular. Watching wildlife is a great way to get back to nature and get away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. With so many wildlife holidays on offer in so many fabulous locations it’s hard to decide where to go or what animals to see. For inspiration on where to watch wildlife, read this wildlife article
The thrill of watching animals in the wild has gained widespread popularity, especially in the tourism industry. Inspired by programmes like Planet Earth, many people set out to discover their ‘inner Attenborough’. Our resident Zoologist Holly Foat looks at the impact this may have on wildlife and provides tips on how to watch wildlife the responsible way.
There is arguably nothing more exciting in life that watching a whale breach in front of your boat or watching a bear hunting in its natural habitat but there is often concern associated with wildlife tourism. Sometimes the animals or the environment can suffer from increasing tourist numbers, habituation and disturbance. However, if wildlife watching is well managed then the animals and the environment can benefit from both the increase in awareness and education among the tourists and the extra finance for conservation projects.
For tips and advice on the responsible way to watch wildlife, check out this wildlife watching article