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Iberian wolf protection project in Portugal

Practical information


  • Learn about the behavior of wolves and their impact on the ecosystem
  • Participate in the conservation of the environment
  • Ensuring the welfare and protection of animals
  • Discover the work of a caretaker in an animal shelter

Program description

IBERIAN WOLF CONSERVATION, is a program that aims to help the conservation and preservation of the Iberian Wolf, an endangered species.

In this program, volunteers will participate in a wide range of day-to-day activities at the Center, including assisting with animal feeding, checking water, maintenance of the Center infrastructure, fire prevention, forest cleaning and observing wolves to check their health, among other tasks. The volunteers will be accommodated in very comfortable wooden houses at the Center itself and the local staff will guide them permanently.

The project is open all year round except in December and January but it should be booked early in advance to guaranty availability. 

Volunteers Tasks

Tasks may vary according to the needs at the time. The work is supervised by the staff, but after receiving instructions the volunteer can work alone. These are the main tasks:

  • Monitoring and observation of the wolves
  •  Preparation of food and feeding the wolves
  • Checking the wolves water supplies (during summer at least 3 times a day)
  • Infrastructures maintenance: checking enclosure’s walls and fences, painting; pathways improvement.
  • Forest maintenance (70% of the time): tree felling and pruning; removal of branches and other materials and subsequent burning; vegetation clearing using agricultural tools like hoes and scythes; and so on. During the summer (May to October) fire watch - can include night rounds 
Download the program description

Where is your project


Included in the price

  • Airport pick-up
  • Accommodation
  • 24/7 assistance
  • Orientation: presentation of Portugal, practical information, safety instructions, guided tour, SIM card and city guides
  • Internship on a sustainable project with supervision and material

Not included in the price

  • Flights
  • Insurance
  • Additional nights in Lisbon (optional)
  • Single bedroom in Lisbon
  • Meals

Your accommodation

Accomodation and Meals

Accommodation for volunteers is in wooden houses chalet-style at the Park located in Mafra. These are small and cozy houses with all the equipment necessary to cook and live comfortably. The house is equipped with washing machine, oven, fridge/freezer, cooking utensils and cutlery but there is no TV. Volunteers are responsible for preparing their meals, doing the washing up and keeping the house tidy as well as doing their grocery shopping. The IWRC ensures the weekly cleaning of the house, as well as the change of the bed (once a week). Volunteers are also responsible for washing/drying their own clothes. Please note that there are no women/men separation bedroom and both kitchen and bathroom are shared with all occupants. A house can house up to 6 people. 


Additional information


Volunteers work up to 7 hours daily: starting at 9 am and finishing at 6 pm (with 2 hours lunch time). During the summer the schedule can be changed and the work day start earlier and finish later with a large break on hottest hours. Volunteers have 2 days off (weekends usually), but extra days are possible if requested. 


- Registration form with your contact information and travel dates (which we will send by email).

- Flights detail

- Diet/allergies.

- Passport copy.

A deposit of 300 € must be paid 7 days after sending your reservation and then the balance must be sent to us no more than 12 weeks before the start of your project.
For stays in less than 12 weeks: the full amount must be paid to confirm the reservation. 


A 50% deposit is required for booking. Balance payment is due 4 weeks prior to departure. In case of cancellation before start date, all fees will be refunded, except the deposit. In case of cancellation after start date, there will be no refund.


The Iberian Wolf Recovery Center was created by the organization in 1987. She is a non-governmental association dedicated to the preservation of the wolf and its ecosystem in Portugal. This non-profit association started in 1985 with the purpose of developing efforts to establish the legal, ecological and socioeconomic conditions essential for the effective conservation and survival of the Iberian wolf population nationwide, together with the dissemination of knowledge about the true predator to the general public. To do so, the association started doing applied research along with education and environmental awareness actions as well as implementing practical conservation measures to increase the tolerance towards this predator.

This center was one of the projects implemented by the NGO and it aims to provide a captive environment suitable for wolves that cannot live free: trapped animals, illegal captivity, other parks and zoological gardens, as well as others already born in the Center, preserving the genetic diversity of the Iberian wolf. It has hosted 59 wolves already.

Nowadays, the organization occupies 18 hectares of land, in a leafy and isolated valley. It is located in Gradil, in the municipality of Mafra, about 30 km north of Lisbon. The nearest towns (about 1.5 km) are Picão and Vale da Guarda. The welfare of the wolves is a major concern, so the activities developed are based on a philosophy underlying a sanctuary, giving animals conditions similar to those of their natural habitats and reducing human disturbance. The volunteer's work is of great importance in the development of the Center's tasks.  


Iberian wolf protection project in Portugal
From 1149 EUR

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Iberian wolf protection project in Portugal

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