There are opportunities in almost every country throughout the world for those interested in conservation and environmental work, and working with nature in the Great Outdoors.
Conservation is naturally an important issue these days and correspondingly there has been a large increase in the number and scope of interesting and exciting projects available to everyone, including those at our own spectacular sites and forest reserves, from helping to protect grizzly bear habitat at the Club's site high in the Columbia Mountains (where you stay in an old ghost town and gold/silver mine) to helping with wildlife documentaries in the Costa Rican jungle and mountains.
Below are just a few examples of the many conservation oriented opportunities available around the world. Experience not generally required - just a willingness to help. Because a country is not listed here it does not mean that there is nothing available there - just that we only have limited space here for a brief selection. We are always looking for members interested in conservation and all kinds of outdoor work - and working with nature brings its own rewards.
AUSTRALIA - Improving wildlife habitat for koala bears in Queensland; catching and attaching radio collars to kangaroos; research into the life of the saltwater crocodile; surveying the Great Barrier Reef (discounted scuba diving courses available).
BAHAMAS - Catch and tag transmitters on lemon sharks, release and track for up to 8-hours, in the Bimini Islands with crystalline waters, undeveloped shore, accommodation and meals provided; dive and examine/survey coral reefs.
BELIZE - Mapping and excavating Maya remains on the Belize River; surveying the Belize Barrier Reef and fabulous coral cays.
BERMUDA - Observing and recording behaviour of the octopus.
BOLIVIA - Monitoring wildlife in the Beni Biosphere Reserve.
BORNEO - Tracking orang-utans in the rainforest.
BRAZIL - The Brazilian rainforest is one of the most threatened zoogeographic regions in the world. Many projects available including searching for rare plants in the Amazon rainforest (to protect!) to working with local communities in the Amazonian state of Amapa (must be prepared to stay for 6-months, food/accommodation provided).
CANADA - Tracking killer whales off Vancouver Island; building log houses in the Northwest Territories; monitoring grizzly bear movements; working at visitor centers in National Parks: restoring trails in the Rocky Mountains. Stays available for up to 18-months for some projects.
CHILE - Analysing mummies at Azapa Valley; protecting wildlife habitat in northern Patagonia; trail maintenance in the Andes Mountains (and across into Argentina - opportunity to see the giant condor).
CHINA - Studying endangered crane species and wildlife habitat; helping to save China's monkeys by assessing dwelling habitat of the white-headed langur; searching for signs of prehistoric inhabitants on the edge of the Gobi desert (expect a true-grit desert expedition by Jeep and a rich cultural exchange with the Mongols).
COSTA RICA - Footpath construction in cloud forests; assisting rangers in National Parks; maintenance in coastal and mountain parks; monitoring sea turtles; mist-netting manikins to attach radio transmitters and track them; working at wildlife reserves; helping to protect and preserve the rainforest.
CZECH & SLOVAK REPUBLICS - Work in the high Jizera Mountains (in winter you'll strap on cross-country skis to measure depth of the snow pack, in summer you'll work in the mountain forests); help with improvements for visitors center in Tatras National Park.
DENMARK - Construction work in small communities in Greenland and the Faroe Islands.
FIJI - Photographing and sorting sea sponges; examining coral communities; working with local Fijians to help protect the coral reefs and forest sanctuaries. Fiji comprises 320 islands with many still cloaked in lush natural vegetation while the surrounding waters have extensive and diverse coral reefs. Lots of opportunities - no qualifications needed - even dive training is available if required!
FINLAND - Helping to provide winter foodstuffs for reindeer in Lapland; building bridges and trail building on trekking routes. Finland is an interesting country to visit, often overlooked, with some good opportunities.
FRANCE - Building mountain shelters in the Alps; restoration of fortified castles; creating canoe passages; forest fire prevention; work in the Ravin de Valbois nature reserve, an area of limestone plateau, forest and massive canyons, with falcons, wild boar, and lynx.
GERMANY - Renovating hiking paths in the Black Forest and Taunus Mountains; renovation of an old 'water' castle (with accommodation provided in the castle); assist in looking after sea eagles in the Baltic Sea; restoration work in the alpine areas of Bavaria.
GREECE - Restoring an old packhorse trail in the Evros Forest; restoring footpaths leading to Byzantine monasteries along the coast, and stone footpaths at Mount Taygetos in the Peloponnese; monitoring and protecting turtle nests in Rhodes; work in the Samaria Gorge - Europe's deepest chasm.
GRENADA - Recording second growth rainforest.
ICELAND - Footpath maintenance in the Skaftafell and Jukuls Rgljifur National Parks (constant daylight provides plenty of opportunity for exploring the land and sea scapes); road renovation in Jokuls canyon, the largest in Iceland, and close to Dettifoss, Europe's largest and most powerful waterfall (shown here).
ITALY - Building footpaths in the mountains and the Isonzo Delta Reserve on the Bay of Trieste; rebuilding and renovation of castles and the monastery at Sicagnano; beach work in Sicily; restoring paths near the famous Beatrice Cenci caves and the Forest Casentinesi National Park in the Apennine mountains.
JAPAN - Forestry conservation work and footpath construction near Mount Fuji.
KENYA - Tree planting; monitoring the wildebeest and other animals on safari.
MALI - Protecting Gourma elephants (related to those that marched with Hannibal over the Alps).
MEXICO - Patrol beaches to protect turtle eggs; assist in collecting data in the driest tropical dry forest in Latin America, by setting camera traps and scent stations, where carnivores either trip the shutter or leave their footprints..
MOROCCO - Investigation work in remote valleys in the High Atlas Mountains.
NEPAL - Assessing habitat requirements for the rare sloth bear.
NEW ZEALAND - Swim with 50-300 dolphins that play, and collect data on their behaviour and interaction with humans; work on the Kowai Bush Reserve. (You can also swim with dolphins near our tropical base in Costa Rica).
NIGERIA - Work with the Nigerian Forest Wildlife Elephant Protection Group; meet and work with native medicine men to find and record medicinal uses of plants.
PAPUA - Diving to examine ghost shrimps.
PERU - Restoration and renovation work at Machu Picchu; assist with research work in the Amazon Basin of Peru.
POLAND - Radio tracking wolves in the Bialowieza Primeval Forest (about half the forest is in Belarus).
PORTUGAL - Footpath restoration in the Parque Natural do Alvao.
SPAIN - Coastal protection work, Gran Canaria; repairing forest pathways near Alicante; restoring abandoned mountain villages.
SWITZERLAND - Repairing damage caused by avalanches, and protection of alpine roads; restoring footpaths (opportunity to visit Europe's longest glacier - the Aletsch Glacier); work in small mountain communities where you can learn to yodel and play the alphorn!
TONGA - Observing and monitoring giant clams.
UNITED STATES - Tracking timber wolves; assisting with the relocation of bears and radio tracking red wolves in the Great Smokey Mountains; recording crocodile activities in the Everglades; cataloguing dinosaur remains in the Mojave Desert; working as an assistant forest or park ranger in parks from Hawaii Volcanoes National Park to Glacier Bay National Park, Alaska (accessible only by boat or aircraft).
VENEZUELA - Locating and surveying populations of howler monkeys.
VIRGIN ISLANDS - Assisting with efforts to save the endangered leatherback turtle.
"I just couldn’t believe it at first. I read and re-read your brochure, and even had a dream one night of lying by the lake watching eagles overhead against the setting sun. When I got a 'nasty' letter from my bank the next morning I said to myself - “That’s it, I’m off.” I joined the Club and a few weeks later was lying by a lake I had envisaged in my dream - literally a dream come true."… Colin
"One of the Club listings tempted me - 'Nearly 4,000 feet up in pine forested ranch country ... next to a mountain lake, natural meadows, woodland, inlets and peninsulas ... a setting unparalleled in wild natural beauty. Steeped in history like the Wild West ... long, hot, dry summers and crisp fresh winters with just enough powder snow to make this one of the world's great skiing areas. Surrounded by waterfalls as high as Niagara, trails of old pioneers ...'
"I decided as soon as I received details from the Club that this was the one for me and in early May I was on an expense paid flight to Vancouver, Canada, where I, and other members, were met and driven the 400-miles to join a small crew to help construct a wildlife viewing tower at the Lazy J. The weather was certainly hot but it was a pleasant heat (not sticky) and cooled down in the evenings.
"Some of the logs were already on site and other ones we collected from the surrounding forest - standing dead wood. These were hauled to site by ATV (my first experience of quad bikes, but proper training was given - it was fantastic). It was interesting watching the tower grow log by log and by the end of the summer it was virtually complete with water pumped from the glorious lake where many of my evenings were spent in a canoe.
"Nearby was Deadman Falls - 150 feet of hurtling whitewater in spring, and a beautiful cascade in autumn when I left. Working on site was real fun - in the middle of nowhere with nobody to bother you - and I, for one, didn't miss the rush hour of back home. The food was also great, all free and prepared in the open with plenty of it, with evenings around the campfire.
Weekends we went by truck the 70 or so miles into the nearest town with its old 'Wild West' tavern, where beer was provided free. It always amused me to see the dance floor surrounded by the boots of hefty loggers and cowboys who were dancing in their socks. How many pubs back home can you get this kind of atmosphere?
"I was sad to leave at the end of my project, more so as the wildlife tower had a bar and was to become something of a watering hole for the participants the following year - and with its 32-feet of viewing windows overlooking the lake and the moose meadows, where better to sip a beer after an pleasant day's work. The money I earned was enough to pay for my next trip and 6-month's stay in Thailand.
Perhaps my only regret was that as I only had a year to take my adventure I couldn't combine it with another one with the Club that took my interest ... 'Nestled beneath Bearpaw Ridge and the snow-capped peak of Ice Mountain lies Bear Island. With over a mile of beach and not a single human inhabitant, it's everyone's dream - a romantic uninhabited island'. Another year perhaps ..." Tim Roberts
For members interested interested in the Frontier lifestyle and the wide-open-spaces we have opportunities for short or long term stays at various locations.
"What better enjoyment can there be in this, the 21st century, than to return to those enjoyable and carefree days, where food cooked in the open tastes like real food, where you don’t just glimpse wildlife, you’re surrounded by it, where you can see waterfalls higher than Niagara and canyons of whitewater that ‘tourists’ can’t get near, to enjoy the company of others in a setting unsullied by modern-day pressures and ‘plastic’ living?
"Sleeping under the stars on a bed of pine needles amidst the smell of the fresh outdoors, panning for gold in a wild, remote creek - a great way to be free from the constraints of what is commonly known as civilization."