Explore the beautiful island of Tenerife and gain valuable experience in conservation whilst working to protect these majestic species in their natural habitat.
Tenerife is the largest of the seven stunning Canary Islands, which form this Atlantic Ocean archipelago. From the golden sandy beaches in the south to the dramatic lunar landscape of Mount Teide National Park and everything in between, Tenerife is a must see.
The Canary Islands are part of a community of Island chains situated in the mid-Atlantic Ocean. Along with Madeira, Cape Verde, the Azores and the Savage Islands, the Canaries are known as Macaronesia which literally translates as ‘Islands of the Fortunate’. The Canary Islands certainly are fortunate as they boast over 1700 species of plants and an assortment of animal, insect and marine life and out of the seven Canary Islands, Tenerife is the most biologically diverse due to its extraordinary climate and geography.
This little Island is home to two world heritage sites, one national park, the world’s third largest volcano and forty two natural protected spaces making it jam packed with places to explore. The enormous variety of activities and sites such as the medieval castle, unspoilt villages and fantastic diving will make your time in Tenerife a truly unique experience.
As one of the top whale and dolphin watching destinations in the world, the south-west coast of Tenerife is a truly outstanding location for the observation of free-living whales. There are resident communities of pilot whales and dolphins which remain here throughout the year, which can be observed on perhaps 80% of the days of the year. There is also a total of 24 other species migrating through Canarian waters at different times of the year from the giant blue whale to the majestic killer whale.
This project will give you the perfect opportunity to learn more about
these fascinating creatures and gain valuable experience in conservation
as you spend your days working alongside the Island’s threatened whale
and dolphin populations.
Volunteers can expect to join tourist whale watching boats 3 times a week. After your initial training, your role will cover three equally important areas:
You will be on whale watching boats, undertaking important observation and monitoring work. Here you will be taking photographs of the whales in order to help grow the catalogue of whales in the area - a good quality camera is essential for you to bring for this work! This enables us to improve our knowledge of family and community groups, and whether the population is expanding or not. You will also be observing behavior and recording it, to determine if behaviour is dependent on group size as well as monitoring the impact of the whale watching industry on the cetaceans.
You will act as a guide on the whale watching boats and interact with the tourists on board, raising awareness about the resident cetacean population as well as the migratory species they can expect to see at that time of year. You will supplement the work of the boat guides, perhaps helping out with English translations. This is crucial as with this education they can inform others and so the knowledge spreads and can help improve conservation attitudes globally.
Up to twice a week you will go on coastal expeditions in search of dolphins feeding around the fish farms. From a high point on mountains or cliffs, you will use binoculars to scan for dolphins and any passing whales. You will learn how to calculate the distance to the animals and record their geographic position. Throughout the survey you will take notes of observed species, group size and their behaviour, as well as recording the boats present in the area, and their impact on the dolphin behaviour.
After each survey, back at the volunteer house you will enter the
collected data into the research databases. You will be taught how to
correctly prepare digital photos of the whales and dolphins for
subsequent identification, and learn how to match these using the
catalogue of known individuals. If you are willing to get stuck in and
engross yourself in the valuable work of contributing to these
charismatic and enchanting species, then this project is perfect for
In your spare time make sure you take the opportunity to explore the islands hidden secrets and sample the traditional historic towns as well as the stunning natural landscapes which you may recognise from Star Wars and Clash of the Titans. Maybe even pay a visit to the Teide National Park and climb a live volcano. Don’t forget to stop off at the beautiful Renaissance town of La Orotava at the foot of the mountain and explore the old narrow streets and quaint churches.
Tenerife also offers everything you would expect from a fantastic tourist location, including scuba diving, quad biking, festivals and great nightlife to help unwind at the weekend.
Frontier can help you organise a variety of activities in Tenerife, whether it is salsa lessons or learning how to windsurf!
You will be met at the local airport by a Frontier staff member and escorted to the volunteer house.
Shared rooms in a quiet, spacious villa.
Varied western diet. Most special dietary requirement can be catered for.