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Whale Shark conservation

Project name:

Large Marine Vertebrates Research Institute (LAMAVE) (3)

Project purpose:

Whale shark conservation

Project activities:

  • community awareness

  • data collection/analysis

  • in-water surveys (snorkel/free diving)


Philippines (Southern Leyte)

South-East Asia

average rating is 5 out of 5, based on 1 votes, Ratings


Weekly cost (approx USD):



Direct benefits you gain:

  • field research skills

  • remote scenic location

Noteworthy conservation points:

  • ​ publishes peer-reviewed science

Wild Sun Rescue Center


The project house is a communal, shared living space. There is a kitchen, bathroom, bedrooms, a communal space and an outside area for relaxing. Beds are within shared bedrooms and each volunteer will be given space for their personal items

When does the project run?


accommodation included, food included, refillable drinking water, no wifi

How long can I stay?


  • At least 21 years old

  • Minimum commitment of 3 months

  • Proficiency in English & computer skills

  • Excellent swimming/snorkelling skills and ability to free-dive to 10m

  • Physically fit enough to spend several hours a day on a boat and/or in the water, frequently in rough conditions and current

  • Ability to live closely with a small community and respect their culture

  • Able to work independently and as part of a team

  • Comfortable living in a shared home and in a remote setting with extremely basic amenities

  • Strong work ethic with a willingness to work long and sometimes irregular hours if necessary

  • A degree in marine science, zoology, environmental sciences or related subjects are preferred

  • Strong interest in marine biology, research and conservation

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

Minimum stay at project of 4 months 



Following an exploratory trip in 2012 to confirm the presence of whale sharks in Panaon Island, LAMAVE decided to set up a base in Pintuyan in February 2013. Since then, our team has conducted annual research and conservation work during the whale shark season. The seasons run from November to July and are highly dictated by the southwest monsoon. The core elements of LAMAVEs research include monitoring the presence of whale sharks, as well as conducting in-water behavioural surveys and tourist compliance surveys in the area. We also work closely with the local community by conducting capacity building activities and encouraging sustainable practices.


The team work a 6-day week, with one day off a week. The survey work is run on a rotation basis, so a general week will be a mixture of in-water and on-land days. An average day starts at 7am and work generally finished by 6pm, or once tasks are complete. Weather dependent, you will be in the water 2-3 days and on land 3 days a week. During an average survey day you will conduct in-water surveys and collect photo-identification data of whale sharks. Researchers join tourist boat visiting the area, and thus surveys are limited by weather and frequency of visiting tourist boats. Depending on research priorities some dedicated LAMAVE surveys may be organised. Volunteers must be strong swimmers and feel comfortable swimming in the ocean for prolonged periods of time. Surveys generally last for 3-4 hours, during which local guides and spotters will look for whale shark sightings, and on locating a whale shark, researchers will enter the water with tourists.

Reviews & ratings



19 Dec 2021

An amazing project with amazing staff

average rating is 5 out of 5

I work as a travel agent, bringing volunteers to DAKTARI and other projects around the world. After helping a lot of volunteers fulfill their dreams of coming to South Africa, I managed to arrange 2 weeks to spend at the project. What a wonderful time I had starting with the staff who are so friendly and polite, the animals being taken care of as if they were family and the amazing food that was prepared catering to each of the volunteers individual needs. I can only say that if you are looking for an unique and quality experience involving a well thought out educational program and the preservation of native animal species, this is the one for you.


Daktari Bush School & Wildlife Orphanage



19 Dec 2021

great experience

average rating is 4 out of 5

i had an enjoyable stay here in DAKTARI. be surrounded by wild animals is a chance and i also loved the teaching part of my stay


Daktari Bush School & Wildlife Orphanage

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