Volunteer Abroad in Wildlife Surveying

A Guide To

Volunteering Abroad in Wildlife Surveying


710 Wildlife Surveying Volunteer Abroad Programs

GoEco – Your Wildlife Volunteering Experts!

GoEco is the expert on wildlife volunteering abroad. Become an integral part of
 wildlife conservation and rehabilitation efforts almost anywhere in the world. Track incredible wildlife 
in Madagascar, rescue sea turtles in the Maldives or get up close with
 elephants in Thailand.

Wildlife Volunteering with Frontier

Get involved in Wildlife Surveying through Frontier. Volunteers have the opportunity to help conserve precious wildlife and work in a spectacular sanctuary. Participants help rehabilitate and care for a number of animals, including leopards, lions, and baboons.

Program fees from $180! Apply now with IVHQ.

Volunteer in Wildlife Surveying abroad through IVHQ. Volunteers can get involved in wildlife conservation projects at the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Victoria Falls. Participants can contribute to the successful operation of a private game reserve and the ecosyhstems of its surrounding areas.

Global Volunteer Network

Get involved in Wildlife Surveying programs through Global Volunteer Network. Volunteers can participate in conservation and research projects in game reserves. Volunteers have the chance to come face-to-face with incredible wildlife, such as cheetahs, lions, wild dogs, and elephants.

Make a REAL difference with Love Volunteers – From US$175!

Since 2009, thousands of volunteers have trusted Love Volunteers for travel abroad that provides cultural immersion alongside the chance to help those in real need. Join us now for a safe, fun, and sustainable Wildlife Surveying volunteer program for a truly memorable experience abroad! Check out our exciting program options!

Projects Abroad

Projects Abroad's private reserve Reserva Ecologica Taricaya is a slice of unspoiled, untouched Amazon rainforest. You can find it on the edge of one of the Amazon's mighty tributaries, the Rio Madre de Dios with mammals and birds abound. A great canopy walkway, South America's highest, gives you access to the top of the forest, leading to a totally new world. Taricaya is at the heart of the A...

Kaya Responsible Travel

Volunteer with Kaya at this wildlife sanctuary in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe and get involved in all aspects of the centre. Volunteers may feed the animals, clean and catty out maintenance tasks on the enclosures, care for sick/injured animals and assist with the release, relocation and tracking and behavioral research of animals. There is also an educational aspect to the project including attending s...

Connect-123 Internship & Volunteer Programs

Take part in Wildlife volunteering programs with Connect-123. Placements are offered in Cape Town, South Africa, and Buenos Aires, Argentina. Volunteers can get involved in wildlife protection, reforestation, clearing of invader vegetation, and hands-on work in natural parks.


We offer affordable volunteer and intern abroad programs in Africa, Asia, and Latin America. The programs are customized for you with flexible work schedule and start date. Affordable program fees start from only USD 180 (accommodation, meals, and 24/7 local support included). Our programs are designed to help local communities while at the same time providing valuable learning and cultural exp...


Volunteer at an animal rescue center in Ecuador with ELI and get the chance to gain valuable international work experience in environmental and wildlife conservation. Choose between two placements: the rescue center in Rio Napo in the Amazonas Region or the one on the coast of El Oro province near Guayaquil. In both placements, volunteers assist in cleaning enclosures, feeding animals, and moni...


UBELONG offers safe, flexible and extremely affordable 1 week to 6 month volunteering opportunities in Asia, Africa and South America. Opportunities exist in many fields, including business, education, conservation, health and more. UBELONG is based in the U.S. and led by volunteers and university professor. Individuals from all backgrounds have joined programs. You will not find a more aff...


Travel to the vast continent of Asia to volunteer in the mountain forests of northern Thailand. Living and working with a group of volunteers from all over the globe you will experience the amazing culture and beauty of Thailand in a way unavailable to normal tourists. This expedition is one of GVI's most varied programs, and is perfect for someone looking to experience a little bit of everythi...

Amazing Volunteer Abroad Programs in Israel!

Volunteering Solutions provides an incredible opportunity to its volunteers to work and explore Israel and immerse yourself in the Middle Eastern culture while you spend time working with the local communities. The programs are suitable for anyone interested in making a difference and helping in different projects whether on a holiday , career break or a Gap Year. We offer some really interesti...

African Impact

As a conservation volunteer in Africa you will experience Africa's amazing wildlife through research drives and bush walks on a big 5 game reserve in rural South Africa. You can make a difference by supporting a balanced ecosystem, assisting local wildlife foundations to protect endangered wildlife. The aim of having research done on reserves is to understand more about the reserve animals...


The volunteer Borneo Marine and Turtle Conservation Project focuses on protecting and replanting coral reefs. Volunteers also protect endangered Green and Hawksbill turtles that breed on the islands. The Project focuses on protecting and replanting coral reefs damaged by 45 years of illegal blast fishing around the islands of the Celebes Sea, Malaysian Borneo. Damaged reefs offer no hidin...

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Volunteering Abroad in Wildlife Surveying

If your ideal volunteer abroad experience involves hiking up mountains, crossing rivers and streams, backpacking trips into the wilderness, or wading into oceanic habitats, all while exploring a new and exciting place, then you may be fit to volunteer with wildlife abroad. Every year, government organizations and charities from all over the world collect data on various wildlife species, both on land and in the sea, to use for research projects and conservation efforts. Many countries with high populations of wildlife especially struggle to complete this important work, therefore international volunteers are needed to conduct surveys and collect essential data.

Why Volunteer with Wildlife Abroad

Many countries, with rare wildlife species, conduct wildlife surveys only rarely because of issues with staff shortages or other resource limitations. Developing countries especially struggle to obtain the needed resources to collect this important wildlife data. To help combat these issues, wildlife surveying volunteers can help understaffed organizations collect vital information, which will help ensure the survival and archival of a multitude of animal species.

Though some argue about the methods involved in wildlife surveying, the data collected from such surveys illustrates important data trends related to things such as animal migration patterns, eating habits, or environmental needs. Once collected, this data ensures that conservation organizations and government entities have the necessary information to make responsible decisions about wildlife care, habitat restoration, and numerous environmental programs. Furthermore, surveying endangered or threatened species may provide data critical to the species future survival.

As a volunteer with wildlife abroad, your work will go beyond helping animals, it will become an investment in the Earth’s future.


Fortunately for lovers of the outdoors, wilderness exists in nearly every country, and, with it, comes opportunities to volunteer with wildlife abroad. If you’re interested in rainforest habitats, South American countries such as Brazil, Ecuador, and Peru are home to unique creatures found nowhere else in the world. Whether you’re observing birds like the toucan, parrot, or quetzal, or mammals like gorillas or chimpanzees, hiking into the rainforest to collect important data will be a demanding and enriching task.

Coastal regions, like Costa Rica or Belize, see an average of 200 different kinds of birds each season, so many important research projects in these regions revolve around bird migration patterns.

If you are looking into volunteering in animal conservation corps, such as in refugee centers, a large number of Asian countries have sanctuaries that utilize wildlife surveying volunteers to gather data about various animals’ natural habitats and to ensure sanctuaries are doing everything in their power to make the lives of animals healthy and comfortable. Those interested in volunteering with wildlife abroad should consider volunteering with elephant orphanages in Thailand, bear sanctuaries in Vietnam, or dog rescues in the Philippines.

Africa is a rich and diverse continent, providing plenty of opportunities to volunteer with wildlife. Wildlife surveying in South Africa, Kenya, and Tanzania, are important ventures, as many wildlife research projects are just beginning in these areas of the world. Madagascar is a wildlife hotspot, as the unique island environment means that nearly 90 percent of wildlife found in Madagascar are endemic, found nowhere else on earth. Wildlife volunteering in Madagascar will be a truly once in a lifetime opportunity.

For those wishing to travel to a specific region, country, or even city, you are in luck. Wildlife surveying is one of the only volunteer roles available that can be performed nearly anywhere, from sandy beaches and rainforests to arid landscapes or dense forests.

Wildlife Surveying Volunteering

The act of surveying wildlife involves the observation, counting, and diligent recording of animals in their natural habitats. Oftentimes animals to be observed are exotic and live in specialized locations, such as specific areas of rainforests, coastal environments, or high altitude rivers or streams. This is the ideal volunteer placement for people who don’t want to be trapped in an office all day, but would rather hike several miles taking field notes of animal related activity.

Depending on where you choose to volunteer abroad, you could be working with a conservation organization collecting survey data, looking for information on endangered or threatened species, supporting a wildlife sanctuary or rescue center, or helping a government department gather accurate data for hunting and fishing state departments.

Those who volunteer with wildlife abroad will likely work with a group of peers, and most often a supervisor. As your become more competent in your responsibilities, you may end up completing a portion of your field work alone, however.

No matter the position, volunteering with wildlife abroad involves relatively similar daily tasks. A typical day might involve traveling to a location, potentially tagging animals or observing their scat or other markings they leave, recording your observations carefully, and at the end of the day turning in your collected data to superiors for further exploration. If you’re a biology or wildlife student in their junior or senior year, or a recent graduate of a wildlife related degree program, you could potentially be involved in the post-analysis of collected data too.

The organization you choose to volunteer with wildlife abroad with will typically arrange your living situation during your volunteer program. Government housing in some areas is a possibility depending on the country of your choice, but the more common housing is in camping grounds or bunkhouses with other volunteers. The period of volunteering can vary from a few weeks to an entire summer period, up to three months, based on the institution or program provider.

  • Irreplaceable Field Experience. Whether you’re working toward a degree in biology, wildlife, or a related science, or have recently graduated and are looking for some experience working in the field to pad your resume or practice relevant skills, volunteering abroad as a wildlife surveyor can be extremely beneficial. With a flexible schedule and active field duties, this is the ideal volunteer experience, which can be tailored to your expertise or your locational preferences. 
  • Physically Demanding. Though sometimes physically demanding, the benefits of volunteering with wildlife abroad are plentiful.
  • Experience with Unique & Diverse Species. This type of volunteer placement can expose you to environments containing creatures and vegetation you have only read about in textbooks, introduce you to a foreign land in a hands-on manner, and familiarize you with a culture of conservation, education, and love for wildlife around the world.
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