Wildlife Conservation Volunteer Project in Portugal - Miranda do Corvo
Want to help protect lynx, eagles, wolves, brown bears and other animals as a Wildlife Conservation volunteer in Portugal? International Volunteer HQ’s Wildlife Conservation project is a unique and exciting opportunity for volunteers to directly contribute to wild animal conservation in the countryside of Portugal. You’ll also be supporting a park that has a positive environmental impact and strong social inclusion mission.
- Programs start every Monday
- Affordable fees from AU$1870 for 2 weeks
- Includes accommodation, airport pick up, orientation and 24/7 support
Help conserve and care for wild animals
Experience Portugal’s diverse natural environment
Stay in volunteer houses at a wildlife conservation centre
This program is ideal for:
What to expect and how you'll make an impact
By joining the Wildlife Conservation project in Portugal, you’ll have the chance to volunteer at a Biological Park surrounded by nature with the largest range of wild animals in Portugal. The Association aims to preserve the existing biodiversity in the country so you will learn about the factors that threaten their survival and help in promoting biophilia and raising awareness to its visitors.
The park takes care of wild animals rescued from zoos, private owners, and other situations in which animals were mistreated. The wide range of animals include different species of deer, wild boars, eagles, llamas, Euro-Asian lynx, Iberian wolves, European otters and brown bears, just to name a few!
Not only does this project create a positive environmental impact, but it also plays an essential role in the local community. The park improves social integration by employing those with disabilities; offering foster care to children whose parents cannot take care of them; growing food locally and producing organic honey and wine; and providing therapeutic horseback riding. In fact, 43% of the staff at the park are people with some kind of disability or chronic disease.
Together with the local staff, you will handle the many daily tasks, such as:
- Feeding the animals
- Helping in the riding school
- General nature preservation (cutting trees, building fences etc.)
There is so much to learn here, and so many initiatives to get involved in, you just need to ask!
When joining the program in winter, you should be prepared to experience lower temperatures of between 40-60°F (5-15°C), and come equipped with warm clothing. If you are planning on coming during summer, when temperatures range between 77-100ºF (25-38ºC), comfortable and light clothing is recommended.
Want to volunteer solely with wolves? Check out our Wolf Conservation volunteer project in Mafra, Portugal.
Why do Wildlife Conservation volunteering in Miranda do Corvo with IVHQ?
When you volunteer with wildlife in Portugal you’ll be adding value to the local community, while also developing personally and professionally by:
- Improving the lives of wild animals
- Supporting local conservation initiatives
- Developing your communication skills
- Gaining wildlife and animal conservation experience
- Immersing yourself in Portuguese culture
- Exploring Portugal’s countryside and wilderness
Volunteers need to have a good level of physical health and fitness to join the Wildlife Conservation project. Many tasks require medium to heavy physical effort, for example, carrying weights around 17lb/8kg on steep and uneven ground.
Volunteers need to be 18 years or over to participate in this program. If you are under the age of 18, IVHQ offers other projects in Portugal which are open to younger volunteers, and also alternative volunteer opportunities for teens. Visit our High School Volunteer Abroad page to learn more.
All volunteers must speak fluent English, are required to have adequate volunteer travel insurance and provide a criminal background check to IVHQ before departure.
Portugal photo gallery
Academic course credit
Gain course credit from your college or university and meet your academic requirements when completing a volunteer abroad program with International Volunteer HQ!Learn about course credit
IVHQ’s Wildlife Conservation project is based at an ecological park in the town of Miranda do Corvo. Miranda do Corvo is a beautiful historic town and municipality in the old district of Coimbra, in the central part of Portugal. It is around 4 hours from Lisbon by public transport, or a 2.5 hour drive by car. Coimbra, the first capital of Portugal and the third biggest city in the country, is 45 minutes away. The area surrounding Miranda do Corvo is dotted with traditional Portuguese slate villages, hiking trails, medieval castles, and riverside beaches to relax on. It’s the perfect place to reconnect with nature in a remote location.
Arrival and orientation
The Wildlife Conservation program begins every Monday, and volunteers need to arrive in Lisbon the day before (Sunday). You will be picked up by a member of the local team from Lisbon Airport (LIS) on the Sunday before your program starts. You will then be taken to the volunteer accommodation in Lisbon for Sunday and Monday night. This is all included in your program fee.
If you are travelling in Portugal prior to your volunteer program, we can arrange for you to be picked up from a prearranged location in Lisbon on the day before your program orientation.
Orientation is hosted by our Portugal team at the accommodation in Lisbon. It begins on the Monday morning of your chosen start date and lasts for a full day. The orientation covers everything you need to know for your volunteer program in Portugal – an introduction to Portugal, culture and customs, rules and expectations, safety, travel opportunities, and an introduction to your project and placement.
On the day after your orientation (Tuesday), you will be dropped off at the train station, as you need to take a train to Coimbra and then a bus to Miranda do Corvo, where the Wildlife Conservation project is located. You will then start volunteering on Wednesday.
Volunteer schedule example
Volunteers on the Wildlife Conservation Project will start volunteering on the Wednesday following their orientation. Start times and daily workload will vary but you will generally volunteer for up to 8 hours per day.
A typical schedule:
|9:00 AM||Walk to the park for an initial briefing of your tasks (feed the animals, park maintenance, etc.)|
|1:00 PM||Have lunch at the project with the local staff and other volunteers|
|3:00 PM||Continue volunteer activities in the afternoon|
|8:00 PM||Dinner at the accommodation.|
Please note that the actual schedule can change according to the current needs of the project, seasonality, and weather. Usually, shifts are in the morning but can also change to the afternoon or last longer.
Accommodation and WiFi
Volunteers are accommodated in a small apartment in Miranda do Corvo, which is around a 10 minute walk from the park. You can expect to share a room with one other person of the same gender. Bathrooms are shared and the apartment has a shared living room. There is no WiFi.
Meals consist of traditional Portuguese food. Breakfast, lunch and dinner will be served at the hotel restaurant or at the park cafeteria.
Due 30 days before you start, or within 48 hours if you register inside of 30 days. Covers the cost of hosting you.
|2 weeks||AU$1870 Equivalent to AU$134/day|
|3 weeks||AU$2647 Equivalent to AU$126/day|
|4 weeks||AU$3423 Equivalent to AU$122/day|
|5 weeks||AU$4200 Equivalent to AU$120/day|
|6 weeks||AU$4977 Equivalent to AU$118/day|
|8 weeks||AU$6530 Equivalent to AU$117/day|
|10 weeks||AU$8173 Equivalent to AU$117/day|
|12 weeks||AU$9727 Equivalent to AU$116/day|
- 24/7 in-country support
- In-country program orientation
- Pre-departure support from your Program Manager
- Airport pick-up
- Personalised preparation tools, guides and check lists
- Access to IVHQ’s preferred insurance and flights partners
- Discounts on language lessons
- Certificate of International Volunteer Service
- All programs attract a Registration Fee of US$329 (approximately AU$541) in addition to the Program Fee. This covers all pre-departure support services. IVHQ fees are priced in USD but you may elect to pay in AUD.
- A 5% international banking fee is added at point of payment.
- Additional things to budget for include: Visa, flights, travel insurance (mandatory), vaccinations, criminal background check, public transport to and from your placement each day and return to the airport when your program finishes.
- Recommended spending money: Volunteers on Lisbon based projects and on the Wildlife Conservation project generally find US$65 to be sufficient for basic weekly expenses. For those on the Wolf Conservation project, we recommend a weekly budget of US$150.
- Any changes or cancellations within 14 days of your start date are subject to a US$200 late change/cancellation fee.
Check what's required to visit Portugal
Safety and support
IVHQ follows best practice and industry-leading health and safety procedures, which are regularly reviewed and optimized as part of the B Corporation recertification.
- All volunteers encouraged to complete our interactive pre-departure training.
- All local teams trained on best practice volunteer management & First Aid.
- All IVHQ programs are required to adhere to IVHQ's Risk Management Policy.
- All volunteers have access to 24/7 in-country support from our local team.
Essential country information
Weather and climate: Lisbon has a Mediterranean climate with dry hot summers and mild winters. During winter, from December to February, temperatures are mild and vary from 8°C to 14°C (46°F to 57°F). Summer, from June to September, is dry and hot with temperatures ranging between 18°C and 29°C (64°F and 84°F). Rainfall is heaviest in December/January and driest in July/August.