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Contribute to valuable marine species research in the turquoise waters of the Canary Islands! The goal of this project is to investigate the behavior of the bottlenose dolphin and short-finned pilot whale populations off the Tenerife coast as related to human disturbance. The International Union for Conservation of Nature is currently lacking data on certain marine species, such as the short-finned pilot whale. Data collected on this project will be entered into scientific databases and used for reports to help create further regulations for marine tourism. Volunteer for wildlife conservation and marine conservation in this research-based project to make a difference. 
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Location of the Project:  Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain
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Project length:  Min 1 week - Max 10 weeks
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Arrival Airport:  Tenerife South Airport (TFS)
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Volunteer Work:  Marine research, Data collection
Age:  Minimum age of 16 (Volunteers aged 16 and 17 must have parental consent)
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Number of Volunteers:  Up to 35 international volunteers
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Important Note:  This project is suitable for families; alternative accommodations are required.

What's Included

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Accommodations:  Shared rooms in a volunteer house
Food:  Two meals are included each day during the week
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Airport Transfers:  Airport pickup is provided upon arrival
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Insurance:  Comprehensive travel health insurance with volunteer abroad coverage
Orientation:  Two-day training on species identification is provided prior to beginning volunteer work.
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Support:  Local in-country team and 24-hour emergency support

What's not Included

Flights, visas, lunches during the week, meals on weekends, personal expenses.
This project takes place in the waters of Tenerife, the largest and most biologically diverse of Spain's Canary Islands. A popular tourist destination, this island consists of various landscapes, from its yellow sand to black sand beaches to its deep, green forests. Of all seven Canary Islands, Tenerife has the most protected areas, which makes it the ideal destination for a research and conservation project such as this one. The heavy tourism, however has had a negative impact on the coast and the goal of this project is to research and protect the dolphin, whale and other marine populations that inhabit the waters surrounding the island. 
As a volunteer on this project, you will be involved in a variety of tasks dedicated to the research and conservation of Tenerife's marine life, specifically the dolphin and short-finned pilot whale populations. Upon arrival, volunteers will receive two full days of training in species identification. The island welcomes thousands of whale watchers daily and volunteers will spend time observing the effects of the tourist boat traffic on these populations specifically. Volunteers will be matching their sighted whales and bottlenose dolphins with those in a cetacean catalogue to build the database and assess population movements. 

Volunteers will also partake in coastal surveys, beach clean-ups and community outreach activities. Educating the public, as well as the tourists of Tenerife, is a large part of the community outreach portion of this project.
 
Some of your tasks may include:
  • Data collection for scientific reports
  • Coastal surveys of boat traffic
  • Monitoring dolphin and whale population behavior
  • Species identification (marine fauna as well as marine animals)
  • Cetacean catalogue updates
  • Beach clean-ups
  • Community outreach activities

Sample Schedule: Volunteers will work five days per week, and have two days free, not necessarily weekends. Each work day will begin with breakfast and consist of two volunteer tasks, one larger and one smaller task, and the day will end with dinner. 

Please note: The time spent on each task may vary according to the season and/or local conditions. 
Internet
Internet:  There is Wifi in the volunteer house
Laundry
Laundry:  There is a washing machine available for use in the volunteer house
Accommodations
Accommodations:  Volunteers will stay in shared rooms in a volunteer house. There will be two to six volunteers per room, and the rooms will be single-gender when possible. There is a fully-equipped kitchen, a balcony and a large living room in the house. The harbor, with many restaurants and other attractions is just a short distance away.
Food:  Two meals are included each day during the week; breakfasts and dinners. Volunteers and staff usually prepare their meals together. The supermarket is a short distance from the volunteer house and there are a variety of inexpensive local restaurants in the village as well, where volunteers can choose to eat.
Please take note of this project's minimum requirements:
  • Basic level of English
  • Good quality camera (Cell phones cannot be used as a camera substitute).
  • Pair of binoculars
  • GPS application (for a smartphone)
In addition to the glistening sand and turquoise waters that surround this island, Tenerife has plenty of travel opportunities to offer volunteers during their free time. Listed below are a few places worth a visit:

Anaga Mountains
Explore the many hiking trails throughout the iconic Anaga Mountains!

Siam Park Water Park
Cool off on at one of Europe's most popular water parks -  the Siam Park water park located in southern Tenerife.

Parque Nacional del Teide
Explore the lush, green parks of Tenerife with a trek through the Teide National Park.

Or, if you’re feeling extra adventurous, you can always take a boat to another Canary Island and island hop!
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