Malaysia is home to an array of different animals, including the elusive tiger on land and the striking sea turtle beneath the water. With approximately only 340 Malayan Tigers left in the wild and two out of four local sea turtle species virtually extinct, in Malaysia conservation efforts are in huge demand.
As a volunteer on this dynamic project you will help with conservation efforts of these two endangered animals. You will be involved in exciting conservation and research activities, including trekking through the lush forests of Merapoh and snorkeling in the aquamarine waters of the Perehentian Islands. You will also be engaging with and providing aid to the indigenous Batek tribe through community projects and guarding turtle nesting beaches at night.
What's not Included
Malaysia is home to an array of sights and sounds. Made up of buzzing cities, idyllic islands and exotic, lush forests - it truly is a magical place. You can spend your days admiring mosques and temples, visiting remote villages or cosmopolitan skyscrapers.
Volunteers on this project will get to spend one week exploring Merapoh, the gateway to Taman Negara National Park, home to the oldest rainforest and limestone caves on earth. The second week will see a complete change in scenery with a move from lush greenery to idyllic white sands and crystal clear water on the Perhentian Islands, two little gems with a typical island vibe.
During your first week you will be based on the border of Taman Negara working to reduce human impact in the wildlife corridor between the Taman Negara National Park and the primary mountain range in West Malaysia – where poaching is most common. The passage is the last connection between Taman Negara and the mountain range and is currently used by a large collection of wildlife to move between the two. Without the corridor, populations of tigers, elephants, sun bears, tapirs and leopards would be doomed. By trekking in this area of lush tropical rainforest, as well as collecting vital data on animal tracks and signs, you will be acting as a deterrent to poachers.
During this week you will also visit the renowned limestone caves and an indigenous tribal village, the Batek, where you will learn about their lifestyle and host English classes for their children. The inclusion of the local people is vital to the conservation of the wildlife corridors as essentially, the local people are the eyes and ears of the forest. You will join the Batek on foraging walks as well as camp overnight in the rainforest.
Weeks 2 and 3:
Your adventure now slows down a pace and as you head to the Perhentian Islands where you will be involved in essential photo identification research, as well as guarding turtle nesting beaches at night. You will join volunteer efforts developing a population consensus of sea turtles on the islands – males, females and juveniles. You will also help to train local snorkel guides and tourists on tourist conservation. At night, you will visit turtle nesting beaches and help inform the fisheries staff when a turtle is nesting on the beach, preventing poachers from stealing the eggs.
Volunteer work could include:
- Jungle walks and how to spot wildlife track and animal snares
- Learn about Tigers and other local wildlife and the importance of preserving the wildlife corridor
- Visit the Batek tribe and learn about their lifestyle living harmoniously in the jungle
- Host a “Conservation English” session for children of the Batek tribe
- Turtle night beach patrol
- Turtle Photo ID Research
- Educate tourists and village boatmen on turtle conservation
Please take note of the project's minimum requirements:
- Minimum age is 16 years old
- Good level of English
- Good physical fitness
- Enthusiasm and to be open-minded