Program Details

Conservation volunteers work within a non-profit biological research and education centre, and all food, lodging, training and research will be provided within the reserve. Projects run all year round, except for the sea turtle programme, which runs from
San Jose, Costa Rica
Program Type:
Volunteer Abroad
Degree Level:
Work Types:
Animals, Education, Environment
1-3 months

Program Overview

Program Description:
oin this project as a conservation volunteer in Costa Rica and live in a tropical rainforest reserve on the Pacific coast, and take part in sea turtle volunteer research and monitoring, crocodile monitoring and research, mammal monitoring and river otter research, environmental education, butterfly garden projects and more. You can join for 1 week up to 12 weeks all year round and we have places all throughout 2015 available. Individuals, groups, students doing research and families all welcome. Cost for food (3 meals a day), lodging in private room in research centre, 24/7 internet access, materials & training start from £360.

Conservation volunteers work within a non-profit biological research and education centre, and all food, lodging, training and research will be provided within the reserve. Projects run all year round, except for the sea turtle programme, which runs from July to January only. Conservation volunteers will be able to take part in several projects: Sea Turtle Conservation Programme, Mammal Inventory Monitoring project, Crocodilian monitoring - Balso and Tortuga River night kayaking monitoring and Environmental Education & Butterfly Garden Project. As part of our volunteering with sea turtles programme, you will have the opportunity to learn about the biology of sea turtles, especially the Pacific Olive Ridley or 'Lora' (Lepidochelys olivacea) which is the most common on Playa Tortuga. You will see adults, babies and eggs, and learn about its life cycle. By helping this project you will be part of a serious scientific research project, which provides important data for the conservation of sea turtles. Upon arrival, sea turtle volunteers will receive training about the research project in which they are participating, how to use the equipment, and what work they will do as well as proper behaviour in the field. The volunteer groups will always be working with experienced staff, who will be able to show volunteers proper scientific methods for working with sea turtles, hatchery work, handling nesting females, eggs and data collection.

Within the Reserva, there are more than 11 species of mammals. The mammals are important for the forest dynamic balance, and by getting data on their behaviour (diet) and local movements offers information that can be used in reforestation plans for the coastal area to establish Biological Corridors. The main objective of the crocodile study is collect real information about the Crocodiles at the Reserve area: their distribution, relationship with the environment and the human impact on the ecosystem. Do an initial profile of the population, in order to help the conservation and management of this species adding new information about its condition in the South Pacific of Costa Rica.The necessity for future generations to understand the importance of environmental conservation and natural resources management is essential. It is part of the Reserva's core mission to educate and actively involve the youth and community at large in these areas ,through conducting workshops and activities for children and their families from schools in the region.The objectives of the Butterfly Garden project is the investigation of native species of butterflies (Siproeta stelenes, Caligo memnon, Heraclides thoas, Dryas iulia) in the reserve and all aspects of their reproductive cycle and plant foods. Environmental education workshops will also take place, whereby members of the local community will visit the garden and volunteers will help to conduct education tours and classes. Volunteers can also help to develop workshops for local schools.
Setting Description:
Playa Tortuga is located just 3.5 hours from San Jose, in Ojochal de Osa on the Southern Pacific Coast Of Costa Rica. The Reserva offers an ideal environment for reseachers and volunteers. It is located in the tropical rainforest and just outside of Marino Ballena National Park. This park is named after the humpback whales that migrate there from August – October and December – April. Three species of dolphins are also commmon visitors to the waters. Visitors can explore miles of deserted beaches, mangrove forests and coral reefs.
The cost for 1 week cost is £360, 2 weeks cost is £550, 3 weeks is £740 and 4 weeks is £930. Please email for prices of other durations. This cost includes private, clean and spacious room, three meals a day (volunteers and staff cook together), non-alcoholic beverages and snacks, equipment (for patrols), guide during the volunteering, back up and support. Airfare and transportation to the project, lodging in San Jose, travel/medical insurance and personal expenses are not included in the cost.

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