Asian elephant research and conservation

Project name:

Trunks and Leaves

Project purpose:

The Coexistence Project is an initiative to study and understand how people and elephants share landscapes in order to prevent human-elephant conflict. We use camera traps to document how humans, elephants and other wildlife are using space outside protected areas.

Project activities:

  • data collection/analysis

Weekly cost (approx USD):



Direct benefits you gain:

  • cultural integration
  • data/statistical skills
  • remote scenic location

Noteworthy conservation points:

  • development goals (supporting local community)
  • publishes peer-reviewed science


Remote field station with water and electricity, daytime field staff, limited internet.

When does the project run?

All year


cooking facilities, electricity, local shops, nearby medical facilities, refillable drinking water, cold shower, western toilet, wifi.

The field station is located in a rural area with many hotels and tourist accommodations nearby, so it is not isolated. However, there are few people on premises and volunteers will need to be self-sufficient in being on their own and cooking for themselves. Staff are present during working hours. Although there is wifi, reception is poor and not amenable to heavy use. Volunteer may have own room or need to share, depending on if other volunteers are present at the time.

How long can I stay?

Minimum one month commitment, maximum indefinite.


  • No prior experience required. Volunteer will sort and label camera trap images.

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

The volunteer can on the premises when working and travel elsewhere in the country via buses and other public transportation. English is spoken in Sri Lanka. Weather is seasonal, with hot humid monsoon rains April-May and drier summer months. Travel/health insurance and waivers are required.

Reviews & ratings



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



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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