In the first few weeks of May this year, I chose to volunteer in Croatia the Bottlenose Dolphin Conservation project. Upon arriving and meeting the project leader, Darja, I learned that the goal of the organization was to collect data on each dolphins whereabouts and how many there are in that area. I learned about the different species of dolphins, as well as their social behavior and eating habits.
The first few days of the program were a blast! The weather was warm and sunny and we saw dolphins on our very first outing on the boat! It was so much fun seeing them in their natural habitat. The next day, we observed the data we collected by examining the pictures of the dolphins and matching them to the existing dolphins in the catalog. As the week progressed, the weather became cold and rainy and we were not able to go out on the boat. For volunteers looking at this program, I would suggest going later on in summer so you can have the full experience, as well as snorkeling and swimming.
During the days where we couldn’t go on the boat, we spent the day inside analyzing data, or making excursions to small towns around the area like Vrsaar, Rovinj, and the Limski canal. On our last night, we even went to a wine tasting!
Darja was fully dedicated to studying dolphins and I was very inspired by her. Overall, my trip was fun and I fully encourage anyone considering this project to go for it. It was wonderful seeing the dolphins and making new friends. I will definitely be trying another GoEco volunteer program next summer!