Dolphin Research, Education and Conservation in Croatia.

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Conservation and research volunteers are needed right now to help protect the last resident Bottlenose Dolphins in the north-eastern Adriatic Sea. By working closely with marine biologists, volunteers become “citizen scientists” directly involved with dolphin monitoring. Monitoring the number of dolphins remaining in this area will let people learn more about the plight of the dolphins. The important scientific data that you help collect will mean research teams can do more to protect these pods. Without this baseline information scientist will not know what changes to make - or even where to start. This will be a learning experience for everyone! Our mornings will be spent learning about data collection and dolphin identification and our afternoon have us out in the field - which in this case is the sea!
Bottlenose Dolphins are at risk due to an increase in human activities. The global population trend of Bottlenose Dolphins is not completely understood, but the Mediterranean subpopulation is vulnerable and continues to decrease according to the IUCN red list of threatened species. Studies are showing that the subpopulation’s numbers in the Adriatic Sea have declined by more than fifty percent in the last five decades! This huge reduction in the dolphin population was caused in large part by planned killings that took place in the second half of the nineteenth century, when dolphins were perceived as pests. But further declines are a direct result of increased pressure from people, including fishing (over-fishing and accidental trappings in nets as bi-catch), loss of habitat quality, water pollution (plastics and heavy metals in the water) and rising underwater sound. Many of these problems will be observed directly by volunteers when collecting data about the dolphins in the research area.

Includes: Pick up and drop off (from Umag, we will work with you to book a shuttle from Pula Airport to Umag Croatia), Accommodation, On-site training, Membership in Partner Organization, $10 Credit in our Zazzle store (towards the purchase of recycled water bottles, reusable bags, etc), Donation to Placement Partner, AEI Travel Manual, Emergency support while at Placement, Carbon credits to offset 3 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions, Premium Individual Travel Insurance (up to $500, 000 USD in emergency medical coverage), Travel discounts (through automatic membership to a volunteer only travel discount program), 24/7 Travel and emergency assistance. Are you thinking of fundraising for a portion, or all your fees? Many of our clients have been very successful with their fundraising efforts. To learn more about their successful fundraising projects and see how you can fund raise for your experience, please visit our fundraising page!

Excludes: Flights, Transportation from airport to Umag, Entry visa costs, International and domestic airport taxes, bedding (can be provided for an extra 5 Euro), Immunizations and medications

Accommodation: You will be living in a volunteer apartment that you share with the other volunteers. All food is provided, but cooking and cleaning are shared responsibilities between team members throughout the time you are volunteering. Most meals are vegetarian and all food allergies will be respected. Bedding can be provided for an additional 5 Euros or you can bring your own. There is a washing machine on site available for volunteers to use (5 Euro per load).

Volunteer Activities: All volunteers will have the opportunity to learn about the biology, ecology and conservation of marine mammals. Volunteers will have scientific supervision while working with data - data collection on the water, data input in the office, and analyzing data from the previous day. Each morning all new information needs to be checked and entered into the catalog, and this information is analyzed. Afternoons are spent at sea, observing dolphin activity and recording these findings. Throughout your stay, there will be many lectures offered about culture, geography, biology, data collection, wildlife and what to do in the unlikely event that a marine mammal is stranded on land. For those interested in education, there will be an opportunity to participate in social media, outreach days and, educational presentations.

This is an ongoing program with operations during spring and summer months. Programs are run on specific dates from April until October each year. Are you nervous about travel and your safety? It's okay, travelling and volunteering can be overwhelming, that is why we exist! To help you travel safe, volunteer smartly and get back home in one piece. To read more about how we help you stay safe, please read our Guide to Safety.

We have open spots for the following dates:

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17 April -  26 April

8 May - 17 May
5 June - 15 June
19 June- 29 June
26 June - 5 July
10 July- 19 July
24 July - 2 August
7 August- 16 August
21 August- 30 August
11 September- 20 September
25 September- 4 October
10 October- 20 October

dolphins in croatia

Classification of Placement: Standard: Entry, Advanced and Specialized.

All classifications of volunteers are needed by this Placement partner and we encourage you to apply no matter your skill or experience level. However, if you are looking for a Placement to use your specific skills, the professionals who would be most beneficial to this placement would be volunteers with experience in: education, fundraising, administration, photography and design.

Want to read reviews by our alumni? Check out Go OverseasFacebook and Volunteer Forever.

Want to see more pictures? Check out other client and alumni photos: social social social

OAVTThis is an official pre-approved OAVT Partnership. All participants are eligible for a minimum of 5 Continuing Education credits.
Trip Cost
length of stay
10 days $ 2062
Groups of 5 or more: 10% off individual fees.