Sri Lanka Elephant Project
Volunteers can join the Sri Lanka Wildlife Conservation Society in the field to participate in ecological research on elephants, assess human elephant conflicts, biodiversity mapping using surveying techniques, community integrated human elephant conflict resolution, sustainable rural livelihood development, assist in implementing sustainable land use initiatives, using GPS, remote sensing and GIS techniques to develop conservation strategies to help conserve elephants, leopards, other wildlife and their habitats in the Central and North Central Provinces of Sri Lanka.
No experience or qualifications are needed but a hard working approach allied to physical fitness & ability to cope with tropical heat will be required. Volunteers will engage in various activities such as walking trails & checking areas around water tanks looking for elephant dung to ascertain the number of animals, size & make up of herds as well as sex of the animals. Observing the behaviour of animals & photographing them to help make up an accurate ID database will be done by vehicle rather than on foot. Monitoring electric fences protecting villages, and studying seasonal variations & diet, as well as interaction & possible conflict with locals is a key aspect of the work. Studies of diet preference and agriculture sympathetic to living alongside elephants sustainably, will be assessed and entered into the project database. Data entry of the collected studies will be a volunteer task as well as presenting a monthly report on this work prior to your departure.
Depending on the numbers present at any given time, volunteers will be housed at a Field camp or Field House. The Field Camp is in a dormitory style lodge with modern toilets, a kitchen area and meeting/dining area. Solar power is used, there is no electricity, and the shower block is open to the sky. Meals are prepared for guests. Elephants and other animals may walk through camp at night so you are advised to only walk outside the lodge during evenings if a staff member is accompanying you.
A Field House also houses guests and this has only cold water, but includes electric fans, mosquito nets and clean bed linen. Please bring your own towel.
2 week stays £940, 4 weeks £1,500 and thereafter on a pro rata basis of the 4 week rate. 25% deposit is required at the time of booking, and all monies must be paid 8 weeks prior to departure or places may be lost. A 70% refund policy is in place for bookings cancelled more than a month before departure, after that time no refund is applicable.
Flights can be arranged with Travel Counsellors, a referral will automatically be made unless you specify you are making your own arrangements.
Additional requirements :
Medical and travel insurance which can be arranged through Glo-wild (contact for details), or alternatively you can arrange your own but a £25 administration fee will apply for confirming your cover is adequate. If arranging your own we will need to know policy number, start date, length of cover and insurer's name.
Visas where appropriate. Check with your own embassy or when booking flights.
Medications currently taken, plus malaria prevention and appropriate inoculations. Please check with your own doctor for up to date travel advice or specialist travel clinics where you live.