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Why is Wildlife Conservation Important?

Wildlife conservation serves to protect and preserve species of animals and plants, as well as their ecosystems. In most cases, wildlife conservation projects aim to mitigate or reverse damage caused by human activities. It is essential for both saving endangered species from extinction and maintaining the overall balance and complexity of nature for future generations.

For much of the world, wildlife is of substantial economic importance too. In many countries, wildlife is a tremendous source of tourism, an industry that large swathes of the population will rely on for their income. There are countless ways humanity relies on wildlife, and there are endless arguments for the importance of wildlife conservation.

So why haven’t you gotten involved? In this blog, we’ll show how to help endangered species and the balance of nature with the best wildlife conservation internships and other environmental internship opportunities.

What are the Best Internships in Wildlife Conservation?

Internships in wildlife conservation tend to be some of our most spectacular programs. An environmental intern travels to an exotic location and contributes to impactful projects, working alongside industry experts and an impressive cast of critters. It can be easy to get wrapped up in the excitement of it all, but there are important factors to consider

A good project on wildlife conservation prioritizes maintaining ecological balance and engages local communities to foster sustainable practices. A good wildlife internship provides interns with the resources and mentorship to gain conservation career skills and opportunities to practically apply them to real-world wildlife conservation projects.

There’s a lot to account for, and that’s before you even get to picking the best destination for a wildlife internship. To give you an idea of the possibilities out there, here are our best wildlife conservation internships 2024:

1. Galapagos Conservation Internship in Ecuador

Famously, the birthplace of Darwin’s theory of evolution, home to the health of endemic species of animals and plants, is there anywhere better for a wildlife internship than the Galapagos Islands?

This program connects you with a well established organization dedicated to nurturing and protecting the island’s unique ecosystems and the rare species that call it home. You’ll gain practical experience in varied career skills as you contribute to diverse wildlife conservation projects. Your day-to-day could include anything from monitoring the nesting patterns of Green Sea Turtles to assisting park rangers in zoo-keeping activities.

2. Veterinary Internship in Costa Rica

With the highest density of biodiversity on the planet and 6.5% of the world’s biodiversity, Costa Rica’ Puntarena province is a contender for the best destinations for wildlife conservation internships. Moreover, this program shines as one of the best wildlife conservation internships.

You’ll join a remote wildlife sanctuary dedicated to rescuing and treating injured, abused, or disabled animals, and you’ll play an important role in the sanctuary’s mission. You’ll shadow veterinary staff as they operate on an array of wildlife and come to participate in daily operations, from health assessments and treatments, to active participation in surgeries.

3. Wildlife Husbandry in Internship in Costa Rica

Travel to a remote corner of Costa Rica and take care of mammals, birds, and reptiles in the most biodiverse ecosystem on the planet.

Working with the same organization as the above listing, interns on this program will focus on wildlife husbandry and caring for the welfare of animals. You’ll be responsible for daily husbandry duties including feeding, cleaning, and medicating animals, and you’ll get the chance to engage with other wildlife conservation projects going on at the sanctuary.

4. Rainforest Conservation Research Internship in Brazil

There’s a long list of reasons to intern in Brazil, and this internship is one of them. Located in yet another global biodiversity hotspot in the Atlantic Rainforest, this is one of the best wildlife conservation internships if you’re looking for real-world scientific research experience.

This program places you with a nonprofit situated in the Serra do Brigadeiro State Park conducting independent research into the valuable ecosystems of the rainforest. As an intern, you’ll have a choice of innovative ongoing research projects to get involved with and will even have the chance to pitch your own projects.

5. Biology Research Internship in Peru

Venture deep into the Amazon Rainforest with international experts to monitor a stunning array of wildlife, including some endangered species.

You’ll join an organization operating on multiple levels to protect the Amazon Rainforest. They work with local communities in the Huanuco region to develop sustainable practices while conducting their own research projects on the ecosystems there.

This is one of the best wildlife conservation internships for adventurous spirits. Interns on this program will work from two different reserves, one of which can only be reached by an eight-hour trek into the jungle.

6. Wildlife Veterinary Internship in Malawi

This is hands-down one of our best wildlife conservation internships if you’re looking for hands-on veterinary experience.

Join a wildlife sanctuary and provide veterinary treatments for baboons, small antelope, wild cats such as servals, porcupines, and anything else that might get brought into the center. Stunning settings in the African bush, collaboration with international experts, and the continent’s most iconic wildlife — these are just some of what to expect from a wildlife internship in Africa.

7. Bird Research and Conservation Internship in South Africa

This is an exciting opportunity to contribute to the protection of an iconic endangered species, the Ground Hornbill. You’ll gain valuable scientific research skills and build experience in conservation, education outreach, and nonprofit operations.

You’ll join an organization dedicated solely to the protection of this beloved species of bird. Their main activities include research, the provision of artificial nests, and the rearing and reintroduction of orphaned chicks. As an intern, you’ll engage in diverse tasks such as data collection, research projects, and monitoring rescued chicks.

8. Master’s Level Conservation Research Internship in South Africa

This is one of our best wildlife conservation internships and one of our best environmental biology internships too. This advanced program lets Master’s students of biology, ecology, and conservation science contribute to vital conservation research and gain fantastic research project management experience.

You’ll join a research center based within Great Kruger National Park, where you’ll be able to choose from a range of ongoing projects to which you can contribute. These could include monitoring populations of certain species, devising strategies to control invasive plant species, or analyzing data from long-term fixed-point photography.

9. Wildlife Photography Internship in South Africa

Hone your craft with a camera as you discover the vital role that photography plays in wildlife conservation projects. If you’re a passionate photographer looking for career insights into wildlife photography, this has to be one of the best wildlife conservation internships for you.

You’ll live and work in the Greater Kruger Area of South Africa, where you’ll use your photography skills to document the work and impact of wildlife conservation initiatives in the region. You’ll gain fantastic insight into the career opportunities within nonprofit wildlife photography, build solid career skills, and build a jaw-dropping portfolio.

10. Marine Research Internships in Mozambique

The best marine internships for 2024 require their own list, but we had to mention at least one of our wildlife conservation projects dedicated to marine life.

Study diverse ecosystems and contribute to conservation efforts in the Indian Ocean, working from a research center in the global hotspot for marine biodiversity, the Bazaruto Archipelago. You’ll engage in various activities, including data collection, marine life observation, habitat mapping, and marine debris monitoring.

11. Wildlife Research Internship in Zimbabwe

Gain fantastic field experience working in conservation and animal husbandry with a wildlife sanctuary in the wild Africa bush of Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe.

As an intern, I work as part of a small team of researchers to collect and analyze data on wildlife in the area. You’ll live and work in the sanctuary alongside with incredible animals, including lions, spotted hyenas, ostriches, primates, elephants, antelopes, and more

Embark on a Wildlife Adventure with Roots

Often, a wildlife internship is a bucket-list experience in and of itself. However, internships in wildlife conservation, like any environmental internship, can also be a gateway to an exciting, fulfilling career spent contributing to important conservation causes.

If you’d like to learn more about the above wildlife conservation projects or any other environmental internship opportunities, get in touch. Roots internships are designed to facilitate valuable exchanges of skills and knowledge between host and intern, where you can contribute meaningfully to purpose-driven projects while gaining valuable career skills.

Browse All Available Wildlife Conservation Opportunities With Roots