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Mauritius Marine Research Project
Contribute to the protection of marine wildlife off the coast of Mauritius.
In the fringing reefs and coast off the stunning island of Mauritius, tourism is flourishing. And it’s not surprising, Mauritius is home to an infinite wealth of sea treasure which woos hordes of tourists who are bewitched by it’s enormity and magical beauty. The sad news is that due to this increasing level of human intrusion, resident spinner and bottlenose dolphins are demonstrating behavioural changes and the status of the populations is unknown. With legislation and monitoring lacking, there is an urgent need to monitor the impact on the island’s cetacean populations. Assisting the research team of a local NGO, you will be doing exactly that!
- Work as a research assistant on a tropical island
- Receive training in cetacean and turtle research techniques
- Monitor the impact of the dolphin watching industry on behaviour, movements and populations sizes
- Speak with tourists and tour operators to gain an understanding of the economic value of this industry
- Educate local children and general public about marine mammals and conservatio
- Play an active role in influencing the local authorities to ensure a sustainable future for all!
This project has great conservation value - the findings of the research team are essential for the development and implementation of legislation to protect the dolphin population and you can be a part of it.
Spinner dolphins are a main object of study for the programme
Volunteers record dolphin sightings from the research boat
Between April - November, whales form part of the marine project's study
Gathering environmental data
Volunteers also gather data on the environmental conditions
All the data and sightings are recorded and analysed back on land
The beaches of Mauritius provide a stunning setting for the marine research work
Environmental education at the local schools is part of the project
Volunteers occasionally set up information stands about the marine conservation work
Volunteers live in a shared house, with shared bedrooms, bathroom and kitchen
WORK WITH THE WILDLIFE
Work as a marine biology research assistant on a tropical island
This is a fantastic research opportunity for anyone with a passion for marine conservation, or wanting to pursue a career in this field.
Receive training in cetacean and turtle research techniques
- Photographical identification of resident dolphin and seasonal whale fin profiles from research boats. Typical species include spinner, melon headed and bottle nose dolphins and sperm, humpback and pilot whales
- Collect data on turtles
Monitor the impact of the dolphin watching industry on behaviour, movements and populations size
- Cataloguing individual animals from fin profile identification data
- Population estimates
- Tracking pod movements and mapping habitat use
- Record behaviour such as breaching and other activities
Speak with tourists and tour operators to gain an understanding of the economic value of this industry
- Monitoring the boats includes noting arrival and departure times, numbers of clients/tourists and their general behaviour for each boat while they are with the dolphins
- Look at the value of the industry i.e. number of tourists and number of people directly employed
- Effectiveness of the guidelines and education of operators
- Seasonality of industry
- Effects of boats and swimmers on the dolphins
- Boat categories are speed boats, fishing boats, catamarans, pirogues and glass bottom boats
Educate local children and public about marine mammals and conservation
- Educate the local children and general public by raising awareness of marine mammals, the habitat they live in and the work of the project
- School visits are arranged and lessons are given on basic environmental issues
- Prepare educational activities for schools
Please use the cost calculator below to get an estimate of the placement costs involved. Flight costs to Mauritius are extremely variable though, so please contact us for a more accurate quote, especially if you would like to include the flights from London or combine a stay on Mauritius with another project.
Hear from other volunteers who've visited Mauritius Marine Research Project
When we arrived in Mauritius we didn't realise how thoroughly we would get involved with the different areas of the island. We have felt like tourists and workers, like conservationists and locals!
This was the first beaked whale to have been seen by MMCS in 2011! What a privilege. Not long after seeing the whale a calf surfaced...we positively identified the species as a Blainvilles Beaked whale. There is nothing quite like seeing a rare animal with a new generation in tow, this wonderful experience has to be one of the highlights of my time on the project and it is something I will never forget.
Snorkelling in 15 metre deep water, 40 spinner dolphins swimming, socialising with each other and eyeing up the strange looking new member of the pod...me! Incredible! An experience that will stay with me forever.
33 -20.336700439453 57.362785339355 Mauritius Marine Research Project
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