Madagascar, a mecca for wildlife enthusiasts the world over. I've been given the opportunity to go on the adventure of a lifetime, but I need your help.
Hi! I'm Abi, a first year Conservation Biology student at Bath Spa University here in the UK. In November, Operation Wallacea, one of the world's biggest conservation charities visited us at the University looking to recruit research volunteers for their studies.
They have projects in many countries but Madagascar appealed the most due to the variety of species and the suitability of the climate and terrain, so this is what I'm aiming for. The expedition would be for four weeks in the summer of 2018. The first two weeks would be spent in the forest, completing a course on Madagascan wildlife and culture and working directly on projects that could involve:
- Monitoring sample routes used by reptiles and amphibians
- Surveys on crocodiles
- Lemur ecology and behaviour studies
- Bird count surveys
For the second fortnight I would be working in the ocean, gaining a PADI open water dive certificate and then learning marine survey techniques on coral reefs.
For this expedition I will need to buy various kit, including:
- Hiking boots and Sandals
- Large travel bag
- Plenty of insect repellent!
- PADI pack (manuals and logbooks for diving)
- Dive watch
As well as this I will have to hire diving equipment and pay to get from the forest to the coast. This is where you come in. I have raised just over £500 so far but I need your help. The cost of the trip alone is over £2000 with an extra £1000 for flights. Not to mention the kit I will have to buy and the travel around the island.
'Why don't you get a job and save your own money?' I hear you cry. Here's the catch. I'm a spoonie! I have ME/CFS and Fibromyalgia so university work alone is wearing me out, there is no way I could hold down a job as well.
The trip itself is likely to wipe me out for the rest of the summer but this is an opportunity I cannot pass up as not only is wildlife a passion of mine, but I hope to make hands on conservation my career, and something like this would look excellent on my CV as well as being a mindblowing experience.
Below are some images of some of the species I may encounter during my trip. Above: Silky Sifaka Above: Madagascan Fody
Above: Frasers Dolphins
Above: Nosy Be Panther Chameleon
Above: Madagascan Sunset Moth
If you could give just a few pounds (Euros, Dollars etc.) I would be so incredibly grateful.
Thank you very much