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):

$

200

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

Accommodation:

Shared rooms (max. 4 people)

When does the project run?

All year

Facilities:

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

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.

Requirements:

  • 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 


GIS
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


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

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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