Humpback dolphin ID and seabird rehabilitation
O.R.C.A Foundation (Ocean Research Conservation Africa)
Volunteer community in marine conservation, humpback dolphin ID, Seabird rehabilitation, environmental awareness and education
Weekly cost (approx USD):
Direct benefits you gain:
field research skills
remote scenic location
Noteworthy conservation points:
development goals (supporting local community)
Dormitory with it's own bathroom and toilet
When does the project run?
accommodation included, food included, cooking facilities, electricity, local shops, nearby medical facilities, refillable drinking water, shower (hot), toilet (western), wifi
How long can I stay?
come with an open mind
be prepared to learn
Details of the day-to-day life on the project:
The ORCA Foundation, a conservation initiative of Ocean Blue Adventures, officially opened its doors in 2001 and was designed to create awareness about marine conservation issues facing Plettenberg Bay. Today, the foundation combines research, conservation and education into its comprehensive volunteer programme. The foundation strongly depends on the willingness of international volunteers to contribute their time and dedication to help further our efforts. Volunteers of
different ages and backgrounds come from all over the world to learn and provide valuable assistance in a wide variety of meaningful projects. This allows them to make a valuable contribution to increased knowledge and awareness regarding local conservation efforts.
It’s all hands-on! You will play a major role in our programme where you will be expected to perform a large portion of the work.
Your participation in conservation and education projects will involve regular hikes and surveys on local beaches to perform marine debris clean-ups; alien plant eradication; river health assessments; assistance at the SANCCOB Seabird Rehabilitation Centre; assistance at the Knysna Animal Welfare Service (KAWS); and environmental education of children at the Siyakula Pre-School Crèche and Sterreweg Special Needs Pre-School.
We support applied research by partnering with resident marine scientists based in Plettenberg Bay. Their projects are perfect for individuals who are interested in marine mammal research. By assisting them in the field or at sea you will gain valuable experience in boat-based and land-based field research methods involving some of Plettenberg Bay’s charismatic marine top predator species (eg. southern right whale, humpback whale, Bryde’s whale, Indian Ocean humpback dolphin, common dolphin, bottlenose dolphin, Cape fur seal and Great white shark). You will assist with humpback dolphin photo-ID research and record sightings of other marine animals during dedicated boat-based surveys. In addition, you will join Ocean Blue Adventures commercial whale and dolphin watching boat trips when there are opportunities to record opportunistic data. You will also participate in other research projects including marine mammal stranding response and necropsy; seal population monitoring; seal scat processing and preliminary identification of prey remains; seal-fisheries interaction and seal-shark interaction research in the Robberg Marine Protected Area. Sample processing, data entry and error checking forms an important component of research, and you will be expected to perform a large portion of this work.
No previous experience is required to participate in our programme. It is however recommended that you have the following qualities in order to make a valuable contribution:
• General interest in marine biology, research, conservation and education
• Enthusiastic, positive, mature and independent attitude
• Willingness to learn and work well within our small team
• Adaptable and patient due to the weather dependent nature of fieldwork
• Ability to work long-hours on small vessels
• Moderate fitness level to hike long distances in the field
• Attention to detail
• Willingness to perform tedious behavioural observations
• Willingness to perform tedious data entry duties
• Ability to communicate fluently in English (both written and oral)
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