Opportunities for participation in fieldwork
The current setup of the field research on Chersobius boulengeri in South Africa allows participation of several volunteers each year. Volunteers help to find tortoises in the field, receive training in taking recordings, and eventually gather much of the data themselves. They will also be trained to perform radio telemetry.
In addition, Dwarf Tortoise Conservation collaborates with universities to enable students to use our field studies to pursue a B.Sc. or M.Sc. degree. Students are welcome to contact us if they are interested in investigations of the diet of C. boulengeri in February-March 2019.
Dates for the upcoming fieldwork are as following:
Potential volunteers must realise that fieldwork is not quite the same as regular holidays. The entire period will be spent in a relatively small area and days can be long and hot. An adequate physical shape is required, as the study area is situated on a rocky hill.
- 15 October until 10 November 2018: room for 1 volunteer
- 11 until 25 February 2019
- 25 February until 7 March 2019
- 8 until 22 March 2019
- Or any combination of February-March 2019 periods
The nights will be spent in a lodge (single en suite rooms). Facilities are good and there will be time to learn more about the local flora and fauna. In general, fieldwork periods are a great experience to learn about the country, its people, flora and fauna, and to have a good time working together in an international team of tortoise enthusiasts. Click here for some fieldwork impressions and here for an introductory movie clip about the C. boulengeri fieldwork. The primary language during the fieldwork will be English.
Volunteers and students will cover expenses for their flight and food themselves, and they will contribute to national travel expenses (travelling by car) and accommodation. Accommodation, food and petrol are cheap in South Africa, compared to European standards. It is impossible to give an exact amount, but as an indication, the total costs (excluding flights) should be around € 25-30 per person per day. Dwarf Tortoise Conservation will cover all the costs for research materials and equipment and may waive some of the other costs for students.
If you are interested to participate in C. boulengeri fieldwork, please send us a message providing details about yourself and your background.
In case you have additional questions, please also do not hesitate to contact Dwarf Tortoise Conservation.