Volunteer to protect manatees and seagrass beds in Caye Caulker, Belize.


Belize Manatee Conservation

: Frontier

Where: Caye Caulker, Belize

Focus: Survey manatees and their habitats to help deliver scientifically sound decisions on the conservation of this species, and raise awareness among the local community.

When: All year round | Peak season: June to October. Manatee sightings tend to be less frequent outside of this time, but the vital work on the seagrass habitats is all year round.

Duration: 1 – 20 weeks | Min. 4 weeks is recommended in order to participate in the full range of activities and surveys.

Suitability: Over 18s | Group bookings available.

Cost: The cost gets cheaper the longer you stay – available here.

As a volunteer, you will:

  • Make a valuable contribution to the conservation of the rare and elusive manatee. They are listed as vulnerable by the IUCN red list and their numbers are declining rapidly.
  • Snorkel survey the population, behaviour and habitat of the West-Indian manatee.
  • Learn about standardised marine survey methodologies, such as underwater line and belt transects, active searches and behavioural methodologies.
  • Explore, map and monitor vast seagrass beds for the benefit of the manatees and other species that rely on these habitats.
  • Support the surveying of coral reefs, conch and lobster, shark, and turtle populations, and perhaps even spot a whale.
  • Take part in beach clean ups, forest restoration work, and mangrove surveys.
  • Visit local schools to explain Frontier’s environmental work, and interview the community on their awareness and knowledge of the local marine reserves.
  • Learn to scuba dive, or gain extra qualifications, in your free time (extra cost applies).

Note: Daily activities depend on the quarterly science plan and itinerary as set by the Frontier field staff, and are all weather permitting.

The Base

Accommodation: Volunteers stay at a beach camp at the research station on the island of Caye Caulker with communal living and cooking areas and bucket shower facilities.

Sleeping: Tents or locally built huts. Volunteers occasionally visit remote dive sites in which case volunteers camp on the beach using mosquito nets.

Food: 3 simple healthy meals a day. Volunteers share the cooking duties using a campfire.

Support: 24-hour in-country support, international HQ emergency support and back up, UK residential briefing weekend available.

Transport: Airport pick up and transfer to the project site is free if arriving on the 1st Monday of the month. Volunteers joining the project at other times can arrange transfers from Frontier for an additional fee.

The next step

Visit the Frontier for more information and to book. Please say that you heard about this project from Sea Fans.


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