Do I need to have any qualifications to be able to apply?
No... but you do need to be highly motivated, willing to work long hours in uncomfortable conditions, and have a high level of interest in wildlife rehabilitation and conservation and/or animal welfare.
Is there a minimum time commitment required?
We require a minimum of one month, and prefer longer – rehabilitation care works best when the carers know their animals well, and can recognize changes in health and behavior. The animals are also happier when there is less change in their environment.
Is there a minimum or maximum age for volunteering?
We don't take volunteers under 18, unless as part of a family unit. There is no maximum age – many of our volunteers are retired.
Can I work with both manatees and monkeys, or do I have to only choose one program?
We encourage applicants to be open-minded in their approach to Wildlife Rehabilitation, and be willing to work where best suited and most needed. Generally, volunteers are allocated to work with either the manatees or the monkeys (though those working with the primates may have the opportunity to help with some of the manatee activities when extra hands are needed) – if you have a strong preference please indicate that in your application.
Other animals also pass through the Center from time to time (affectionately known as the 'odds and sods'). These have included deer, peccary, margay and otters – these too, require dedicated care and attention.
We never know what is going to come in or when... orphaned manatee calves, confiscated monkeys – these can arrive at any time, so volunteers need to be prepared to be flexible.
To get an even better idea of what it's like to volunteer with Wildtracks, check out the volunteer blog!
How much does it cost?
The monthly fee is US$750 for the first month, and US$650 per month for subsequent months - to cover food and admin costs (basic accommodation is provided free), and which also includes a modest contribution to the Programmes. A membership is highly recommended.
Where does the money go?
Funds go towards supporting your input into the program – your food, fuel and supplies for the activities you are participating in (e.g. boat fuel for post release tracking of manatees), and the fee includes a modest contribution towards some of rehabilitation costs.
What other costs will I have?
All volunteers are required to have full travel and health insurance, and are required to cover all travel costs to and from Wildtracks, including international airfares and local travel. Volunteers are also responsible for their monthly visa renewals (Bz$50 for each 30 day renewal). Volunteers need to bring their personal equipment and toiletries, and spending money for extras such as soft drinks, beers and after-placement travel.