Protecting marine wildlife through research and education

Project name:

Marine Environment Research Association (AIMM)

Project purpose:

AIMM aims to be a reference for research, education and conservation of the environment in Portuguese waters, promoting understanding of marine related issues, identifying threats and mitigate their effects in marine wildlife.

Project activities:

  • community awareness

  • data collection/analysis

   (Daily survey on board research vessel)
   (Data entry)

  • teaching

   (theory classes)

   (research technique with marine mammals)

  • Scuba diving (separate to main program)

Weekly cost (approx USD):

$

Direct benefits you gain:

  • data/statistical skills

  • field research skills

Noteworthy conservation points:

  • publishes peer-reviewed science

Accommodation:

Accommodation will be shared by the whole team: participants, research assistants and researchers. The field station is a small farm in Albufeira, Algarve.

When does the project run?

Facilities:

accommodation included, food included, wifi, local town. The house is equipped with Wi-Fi, laundry room and everything needed for a working kitchen. Participants will share 3 rooms, 3 bathrooms, living room, dining room, kitchen, office garden with a swimming pool.

How long can I stay?

Requirements:

  • Be 16 years-old or older; Stay for at least 1 week (7 days)

  • Speak enough English to be able to communicate with other participants

  • Be in good health, physically fit and able to walk and climb easily

  • Be able to swim and feel comfortable on a boat.

Details of the day-to-day life on the project:

Everyone’s experience at AIMM is unique. The programme is tailored to your learning interests, allowing you to decide which aspect of marine fieldwork you want to explore, or even get assistance for your personal marine research projects.

 

The atmosphere is informal and familiar, and household chores will be shared and carried out by everyone. It is also important to keep in mind that the team includes most often members of different countries with different levels of English, so fellow participants need to be patient with each other.

Ongoing Projects

Surveillance and monitoring of marine megafauna in coastal waters off the Algarve, Portugal

The distribution and population dynamics of marine megafauna, namely cetaceans, sea turtles and sharks, inhabiting the South of Portugal are poorly known. As are top predators they play a crucial role in their ecosystems. However, they also attract attention, making them ambassadors of marine environment conservation efforts. AIMM focuses most of its research efforts in the first general study on the occurrence, distribution, and abundance of cetaceans in the Southern coast of Portugal. 

This study will allow us to know which species inhabit these waters, why and how they use their habitat while verifying their conservation status and the potential threats they face.

Characterisation and improvement of the whale-watching tourism activity along the South coast of Portugal

Social organization and behaviour among large brained mammals: Maternal Strategies as an evolution factor

Ecology of marine megafauna and potential effects of climate change

Studying Cetaceans through acoustics

Marine mammals rely on acoustics to communicate, navigate and explore their environment.  Acoustic studies with marine mammal allow us to understand how these animals use the sound but also permit to detect and track them in their habitat. Given these advantages and complementariry with visual methods traditionally used, AIMM recently started to use acoustics to strengthen the study of the distribution and abundance of these animals in the most Southern region of Portugal.

Reviews & ratings

Adriano

Volunteer

Very Good Program

My week at Daktari was excellent and the program is very intense in the sense that we all get together with the kids and animals from 7am until 9 pm. It is an excellent choice for a first volunteering program abroad considering and I would definitely like to go back someday

Corinne

Intern

It was an experience that I feel extremely lucky to have been a part of

Wild Sun Rescue is an animal rehabilitation center located in the remote and scenic fishing village of Cabuya, Costa Rica. The long-term (12 week) volunteer experience involved getting to do hands-on work with all of the animals that are housed at the center, including howler monkeys, capuchins, opossums, squirrels and raptors. The daily duties included diet prep (mostly chopping and cooking fruits and veggies), enclosure cleaning, facility maintenance (repairing enclosures, building new enclosures and enrichment), and animal handling and medical treatment. It was an experience that I feel extremely lucky to have been a part of--nowhere else in the world would I be able to work with all of these amazing animals, in such a unique and beautiful location. As a wildlife biology intern, I also had the opportunity to create my own research project at the center, supervised and assisted by the internship coordinator.

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