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Volunteer Rainforest Conservation in Madagascar

Overview
  • Placement location: Andasibe
  • Role: Species monitoring, research projects, reforestation projects
  • Main Research Focus: Biodiversity or environmental impact studies
  • Local Environment: Rainforest
  • Requirements: None
  • Accommodation: Host family or guesthouse
  • Length of placement: From 2 weeks
  • Start dates: Flexible

A Projects Abroad staff member views local wildlife in a rainforest in Madagascar.

Volunteering on Projects Abroad’s Rainforest Conservation Project in Madagascar is an opportunity for you to live and work in the heart of one of the most unique ecosystems on the planet. The project is based in a local national park located in the forests bordering the Indian Ocean. Your help is crucial here as local staff do not have sufficient resources to maintain the park or carry out their own research and reports. We welcome volunteers of all ages and skill levels and the project is ideal for those on a gap year, career break, summer vacation, or for university research.

Madagascar has one of the highest percentages of endemic species on the planet, with over 90% of its animal species and 89% of its plant species found nowhere else in the world. Such distinctiveness has led to claims that Madagascar should be considered the eighth continent and it is recognized as a global hotspot for biodiversity.

The island is home to nearly 103 species of lemur (the most endangered group of vertebrates on the planet), 283 species of bird, 346 species of reptile, and 238 species of amphibian. The fauna of the island, however, is under threat from the 22 million people who live there and whose main activity is subsistence farming. It is estimated that 90% of Madagascar’s forest has already been lost. In spite of this, scientists have discovered and identified over 600 species new to science in the last decade.

Your Role at the Rainforest Conservation Project

Projects Abroad staff member explores a rainforest and sees indigenous animals in Madagascar, Africa.

At the project, you can expect to get involved in the following activities:

  • Continuous censuses of flora and fauna
  • Reforestation through working at a tree nursery
  • Alien plant removal
  • Educational initiatives (awareness programs in local communities)
  • Rubbish clean-ups
  • Building hides (to eventually sleep out in the jungle)
  • Teaching English to local guides
  • Writing reports on the activities, challenges, and successes of the park

We are also working to make Andasibe a greener village through our volunteers’ efforts and initiatives.

Volunteering in Madagascar with Projects Abroad

Arriving at Ivato Airport near the country’s capital, Antananarivo, you will travel from the central highlands towards the forests bordering the Indian Ocean. Once there, you will be taken to a local host family or a guesthouse, where you will stay for the duration of your project. This is a wonderful opportunity for cross-cultural exchange and you will find yourself learning a lot about the local culture first-hand.

If you are a high school student and first-time traveler you may want to consider our High School Special programs in Madagascar.

You can join the Rainforest Conservation Project in Madagascar for two or three weeks if you don't have time to join us for four weeks or more. This project has been selected by our local colleagues as being suitable for short term volunteering for both the host community and the volunteer. Although you will gain a valuable cultural insight and work intensely within the local community please be aware that you may not be able to make the same impact as someone volunteering for a longer period.

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