Volunteer At Any Of These 7 Conservation Programs Across India

Volunteer At Any Of These 7 Conservation Programs Across India
Wildlife SOS

The world just got the horrifying news that in 2017 we reached Earth Overshoot Day earlier than ever before. What this means is that as of 2nd August, mankind will have consumed more natural resources than they are physically capable of renewing by the end of the year. Really puts things in perspective doesn’t it? Without a drastic change, this overshoot is scheduled to occur earlier every year until the day we find that we have expended resources beyond any hope of restoration.

While modern India has made conscious efforts to go green and gravitate towards a more sustainable existence, the truth is that the change just isn’t happening fast enough. For most people the issue lies in finding an effective way to put their beliefs into practice. Maybe you share a post here and there, or donate to your favourite charity, but you still feel like you have more to give back. This is where volunteer programs come in. Up and down the country are organisations fighting a daily battle against urbanisation and even though they’re doing brilliant work, they could always use an extra hand...or ten. So instead of vegging out with Netflix and calling it a holiday, pick your poison, pack your bags and head out to make a difference at one of these 7 amazing programs across India.

Image Credit: Olivier Born

As the only permanent rainforest research station in the country, Agumbe is a sought after destination for conservationists around the country looking to make a difference to the status of India’s quickly vanishing indigenous flora. The centre is situated in the heart of the Agumbe Reserve Forest in the Western Ghats of Karnataka, the second wettest place in India. The entire base runs on sustainable energy and living on the site, you will be expected to respect that ethos. The area is a haven for King Cobras and there have even been Leopard sightings so your research projects may be about more than just vegetation. Be prepared for the incessant rains and more than anything, go in the right spirit, this isn’t going to be a relaxing holiday, you’re here to make a difference!

For more details contact: arrs.india@gmail.com

Andaman and Nicobar Islands Environmental Team - South Andaman Island
The Andamans are the perfect example of island ecology, but their unique biological and cultural diversity is constantly under threat from modern day activities. This team is focused on restoring sustainability to the many indigenous species through education drives, research and implementation of social justice. They carry out both long and short term goals depending on the urgency of situation and by signing on with their team you will be responsible for rehabilitating the fast-fading diversity of this island paradise.

For more details contact: info@anetindia.org

If you’re all about big cats then HyTiCoS is here to fulfil your dreams. Dedicated solely to the conservation of tigers in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana they aim to preserve the natural habitat and implement policies that aid in consistently growing the tiger population. Their on ground work includes collaborating with local communities to educate them about the situation as well as gather more information to achieve a collaborative approach towards their goal.

For more details contact: hyticos@gmail.com

Madras Crocodile Bank

If you’re in the market for an experience that’s a little less cute and fluffy this could be the place for you. This centre for herpetology (the study of amphibians for us laypeople) offers a totally hands on experience where you learn about the day to day workings of a reptile facility. Their short programs run for between 2-5 weeks and the long ones are 5 weeks and over. You’ll have access to the country’s most extensive reptile library and will be able to attend talks, workshops and trails conducted by leading scientists in the field. This is an intense experience and while they do look for existing skills when accepting volunteers, they’re more than accommodating to newcomers who come to develop new skills.

For more details contact: volunteer@madrascrocodilebank.org

Sahyadri Nisarga Mitra - Maharashtra

This multifaceted organisation deals with the conservation of everything that walks, flies or swims. They offer many different opportunities to get involved with their process, so even if you don’t have much time on your hands you can chip in from the comfort of your own home. If you do want a hands on experience you could join in their annual Turtle Festival where they collaborate with the Kasav Mitra Mandalto ensure effective tourist management. The nesting and birthing season for sea turtles is an ecologically fragile time and by giving presentations and providing alternate facilities to those who are less aware, many baby turtles will get a fighting chance that hasn’t been offered to them in the past.

For more details contact: sahyadricpn@gmail.com

Wildlife SOS

Wildlife SOS - Delhi

This project in the heart of the capital devotes its time to promoting the welfare of the city’s wildlife, primarily elephants and bears. The cruel practice of ‘dancing bears’ is still prevalent and elephants are worked to the bone providing rides for unsuspecting tourists. At Wildlife SOS you’ll get a chance to work hands on with the rescued animals, feeding, cleaning and general cuddling is a must. They don’t require any prior experience in the field but because most of the work is outdoors and labour intensive, physical fitness and a passion for the cause is advised.

For more details contact: volunteer@wildlifesos.org

Wildlife Trust India - Centres Nationwide

A widespread organisation tackling every ecological issue under the sun, WTI is the best bet for people who have a passion for wildlife conservation but aren’t clear on where to begin. Their Depth Projects holistically tackle a spectrum of conservation issues while their Breadth Projects address specific concerns in contained areas. This will give you a chance to learn about the Indian conservation needs before jumping headfirst into a project and due to their wide reach, volunteer opportunities are available to people across the country.

For more details contact: hrms@wti.org.in

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