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 CA$1236 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 center
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 park that has a wide variety of wildlife, including: different species of deer, wild boars, eagles, lamas, Euro-Asian lynx, Iberian wolves, European otters and brown bears, just to name a few!
Together with the local staff, you will assist in tasks that are related to the conservation of wild animals. You will also assist on the farm to take care of horses, oxen, ducks, pigs, chickens, plus more. Tasks can vary but often include: observing their behavior, forest conservation, habitat maintenance and feeding, among many other tasks.
As a Wildlife Conservation volunteer, you will be supporting a park which not only has an environmental impact, but also plays an essential role in the local community. The park’s mission is to contribute to the local development and to fight poverty by supporting and integrating disabled people. For example, you could also help on the pedagogical farm and in the riding center for people with special needs.
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
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.
The area surrounding Miranda do Corvo is dotted with traditional Portuguese slate villages, hiking trails, medieval castles, and riverside beaches to relax on. This countryside also provides a natural habitat for many deer, wild boars and roe deer.
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 traveling 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||CA$1231 Equivalent to CA$88/day|
|3 weeks||CA$1613 Equivalent to CA$77/day|
|4 weeks||CA$1995 Equivalent to CA$71/day|
|5 weeks||CA$2377 Equivalent to CA$68/day|
|6 weeks||CA$2759 Equivalent to CA$66/day|
|8 weeks||CA$3522 Equivalent to CA$63/day|
|10 weeks||CA$4363 Equivalent to CA$62/day|
|12 weeks||CA$5127 Equivalent to CA$61/day|
- 24/7 in-country support
- In-country program orientation
- Pre-departure support from your Program Manager
- Airport pick-up
- Personalized preparation tools, guides and check lists
- Access to IVHQ’s preferred insurance and flights partners
- Discounts on language lessons
- Discounts on travel and tour add-ons
- Certificate of International Volunteering
- All programs attract a Registration Fee of CA$421 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 CAD.
- 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.
Check what's required to visit Portugal
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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.
Protecting against COVID-19:
Volunteers tested for COVID-19 upon arrival
Health & safety information provided during orientation
Strict disinfecting standards for programs & accomodation
Greater physical distance between volunteers
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.