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So many people dream of working with animals. Even beyond a career in wildlife conservation, things like photographing the big five, studying rainforest ecosystems, or just witnessing sea turtle hatchlings journey from nest to ocean are the types of experiences people put on their bucket lists. Wildlife conservation internships don’t just make these dreams a reality; they could be your first steps towards making it your nine-to-five!

So if you’re ready to make your dream of working with animals come true and want to know how to get wildlife conservation internships, read on. In this article, we’ll take you through all the steps for wildlife conservation internship applications, including things like researching organizations, picking programs, and understanding wildlife conservation job requirements. We’ll also take you through some of our favorite wildlife conservation internships that we have available.

What Are The Requirements to Intern in Wildlife Conservation?

Before starting the process of finding these exciting opportunities, it’s important to know what will be required of you. While specific requirements vary for different wildlife conservation internships, here are some common criteria:

  • Educational Background – Most internships prefer candidates with a background in biology, ecology, environmental science, or related fields. A strong academic foundation in these subjects will make you a competitive applicant.
  • Passion and Commitment – Demonstrating a genuine passion and commitment to wildlife conservation will go a long way. You could demonstrate this through volunteer work, relevant coursework, or personal projects.
  • Field Skills – Depending on the internship, field skills such as data collection, animal tracking, and plant identification may be necessary. If you have these skills, be sure to highlight them in your application.
  • Physical Fitness – Some wildlife conservation internships involve strenuous activities like hiking through rugged terrain or assisting in the capture and release of animals. Good physical fitness is often necessary.
  • Language Proficiency – If you’re planning to intern in a foreign country, proficiency in the local language or strong command of English and effective communication skills will be hugely beneficial.
green aquatic plant in glass jar with water

8 Steps for Finding Wildlife Conservation Internships

Now that you’re aware of wildlife conservation job requirements, let’s dive into the steps for wildlife conservation internship applicants to follow to find the best programme for them.

1. Research

Begin by researching different wildlife conservation organisations, sanctuaries, and reserves that are offering internships. Try to research the organisation as a whole, not just the internship. Get an idea of the research they conduct, the projects they run, or what their overall goal is.

To find the best wildlife conservation internships for you, it’s important to know what you want from the experience. Take time to consider your interests and career goals, then look for opportunities that align with them. This will help narrow down what can feel like an overwhelming number of choices.

Check out our amazing Wildlife Conservation Internship opportunities

2. Build Your Skills and Experience

As mentioned, some positions will require certain field skills. You’ll likely need a PADI certificate for marine conservation. Data-collection skills will come in handy for conservation research. If you lack some of the required skills, consider taking courses or workshops to bolster your qualifications.

Even if you already have the required skills, it’s still a good idea to look for local opportunities to volunteer. Putting your conservation skills to use and demonstrating your commitment to the cause will help make your application stand out.

sea turtles and corals underwater

3. Prepare Your Application

Now it’s time to write your resume and a cover letter. Highlight your relevant coursework, volunteer experiences, and any special skills you possess in your resume. In your cover letter, explain why you’d like to work for the organisation and what you’d bring to the table if you did.

Always tailor your application to the specific internship and organisation you’re interested in. This is where you can put that research to use. If you can relate your skills to one of the organization’s ongoing projects, or express passion for the cause the organisation supports, you’ll really impress with your application.

4. Networking

That’s right, the networking opportunities have already started. You should be reaching out to organisations and asking questions as part of your research. You’ll continue to meet people throughout the application and interview process. It can be incredibly beneficial to keep track of each contact you make.

A useful tip: try leveraging your different activities against each other. Go to a conference and ask professionals for tips on how to get wildlife conservation internships. As you apply for internships, mention what you learned at these conferences. This will help you make the most of your contacts and give you talking points to help strike up a conversation.

5. Apply Early

Submit your applications well in advance of the deadlines.

First of all, the best wildlife conservation internships are highly competitive, and positions can fill up quickly. Secondly, even once you’ve secured your placement, there are a lot of steps for wildlife conservation internship preparation. You’ll want to leave yourself plenty of time to sort out visas, insurance, flights, and everything else.

6. Prepare for Interviews

If you make it to the interview stage, be ready to discuss your passion for conservation, your skills, and your willingness to learn. You want to try to showcase your adaptability and enthusiasm for working in different environments.

The important thing to remember about interviews is that they are not just a chance for your organisation to get to know you, but also for you to get to know the organisation. Remind yourself of what you hope to achieve with your internship and ask how the organisation can accommodate those goals.

elephants on a mountain in Kruger Park, MP, South Africa

What Are the Best Internships in Wildlife Conservation?

Now, you have an idea of how to get wildlife conservation internships, we’ll give you an idea of the opportunities out there.

The best wildlife conservation internships abroad are more than incredible experiences, they can serve as a passport to the kind of exciting and fulfilling career that most people only fantasize about. Here are some of the best programs we have to offer:


Join a dedicated team working on the frontlines of turtle conservation along the tropical shores of Costa Rica!

This opportunity is ideal for aspiring conservationists and field researchers eager to make a direct impact. You’ll be based on the Osa Peninsula of Costa Rica, working on data collection, analysis, and reporting. Interns will collaborate with professionals to monitor sea turtles using tagging and patrols, to bolster protection of sea turtle beach habitats.

Location: Carate, Costa Rica


This program places you on the western slope of the Ecuadorian Andes, gaining practical experience in all aspects of conducting research projects.

Join an experienced team at a well-established nonprofit in the Cloud Forest. Their projects focuses on research of ecosystems, flora, and fauna in the region which is then used to influence conservation and natural resource management strategies. This program is ideal for biology students as the data collected can be used for university research.

Location: Recinto La Esperie, Ecuador

interns viewing birds while on a game drive


Here’s your chance to join a specialist team of conservationists in South Africa whose work focuses on protecting the endangered ground hornbill.

Embark on a hands-on wildlife conservation internship in South Africa, focusing on the endangered ground hornbill. Activities include data collection, research projects, monitoring chicks, and community education. Ideal for biology and wildlife science students seeking practical experience and potential for specific research projects.

Location: Bela-Bela, South Africa


Head into the African bush to make a meaningful contribution to wildlife conservation in Zimbabwe.

Join an organization committed to furthering the mission of wildlife conservation in Africa thought a variety of research projects. You’ll be involved in gathering data through camera traps, habitat mapping, mammal transects, surveys, assessments, and studies to then monitor and analysis on a variety of metrics. You’ll gain hands-on experience while assisting the conservation of incredible animals in their natural habitat.

Location: Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe


Dive into this opportunity to study coral reefs in in the idyllic islands of the Philippines alongside a team of professionals.

Take your first steps into a career in marine science by completing this internship in one of the most biodiverse marine regions in the world. You’ll be conducting underwater research and learn to use a variety of data collection and analysis techniques – all while being guided by a dedicated team. Assist in the mission of marine conservation, not just in the Coral Triangle, but on an international level as the findings your report are used to transform global community initiatives.

Location: Dauin, Philippines

Get the Most Out of Your Wildlife Conservation Internship with Roots

Working out how to get wildlife conservation internships can be a challenge, but it is well worth the effort. Remember, every internship is a chance to make a difference in the world of conservation and help preserve the natural wonders of our planet.

giraffes crossing the road

By following this step-by-step guide and staying committed to your goals, you can increase your chances of landing that dream opportunity. Alternatively, you can get in touch with us. We’ll talk you through all the best wildlife conservation internships we have available, help you find one that suits your wants and needs, and support you fully through the application process.

Browse our available wildlife conservation internships


This blog was written by Tom Rusbridge