Research and public outreach to understand and protect the dolphins of Montenegro

Project name:

Montenegro Dolphin Research

Project purpose:

Montenegro Dolphin Research (MDR) is a project run by the Marine Mammals Research Association (DMAD), a NGO based in Turkey but operating throghout the eastern Mediterranean. MDR was established to protect the currently endangered dolphins in the region using a combination of research and public outreach. MDR is currently the only organisation performing continuous dedicated surveys on cetaceans in an area that is rich in cetaceans (dolphins and whales) but heavily underrepresented in terms of research.

Project activities:

  • animal interaction
  • community awareness
  • data collection/analysis
  • habitat restoration/management

Weekly cost (approx USD):



Direct benefits you gain:

  • data/statistical skills
  • field research skills
  • report writing
  • undertake your own research

Noteworthy conservation points:

  • contributes to environmental policy
  • publishes peer-reviewed science
  • publishes work

Wild Sun Rescue Center


Shared rooms (max. 4 people)

When does the project run?

All year


accommodation included
cooking facilities
local shops
nearby medical facilities
refillable drinking water
shower (hot)
toilet (western)

How long can I stay?

Absolute minimum of 1 month however internships of 2 months or more are recommended as not all teaching can be given in this time.


  • a passion for marine conservation
  • degree or working towards is preferable but not essential and candidates without will be considered

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

Interns will take part in land and boat based surveys to collect essential data on distribution, behaviour and photo identification of dolphins in Montenegro and northern Albania. Interns are given the opportunity to take part in the writing of technical reports and articles to be submitted to peer-reviewed journals. Longer term interns have the opportunity to undertake their own research projects.

Interns can expect to receive training in:

Field modules
1 - Introduction to using a theodolite for marine mammal studies - theory
2 - Introduction to using a theodolite for marine mammal studies - practical
3 - Introduction to cetacean behavioural studies
4 - Environmental data collection training using ZyGRIB
5 - Recording cetacean and marine vessel distribution using Pythagoras - infield training
6 - Recording infield environmental data - infield training
7 - Recording data on boat surveys using Logger 2010 Software

Discovery - Photo Identification software
1 - Setup of discovery software
2 - Importing and categorising photos in the catalogue
3 - Identifying and matching individuals 

1 - The research question and the perfect dataset
2 - Importing data in GIS and displaying coordinates
3 - Coordinate systems and projections and corrections to data sets
4 - Survey Areas
5 - Kernel densities
6 - Fishnet

1 - Introduction to MDR and DMAD
2 - Data entry and proof
3 - Writing an effective research paper

Reviews & ratings



5 Oct 2021

Great experience

Great experience. I have learned a lot about wild animals and the bush. The kids are super. Thanks to Michele and Ian but also I would like to thanks all the volunteers and local people.


Daktari Bush School & Wildlife Orphanage



21 Mar 2020

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


Daktari Bush School & Wildlife Orphanage

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