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Iberian Wolf Conservation Project

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Iberian Wolf Conservation Project

Help protect the vulnerable Iberian Wolf population in Mafra, Portugal!

Prices from US$1,645

One of Europe’s most vibrant countries, Portugal offers outstanding landscape diversity, boasting forested mountainous areas in the north, rocky sloping mountains in the central regions and glamorous beach destinations of the Algarve.  
This important project is based in the city of Mafra, an area that epitomises Portugal’s beauty. Culturally important, Mafra is home to the magnificent Palácio de Mafra, an extravagant palace-monastery hybrid built in 1717. Shortly after its construction a park called the Tapada Nacional de Mafra was created nearby as an area for the Portuguese monarchy to hunt in. Nowadays it provides a habitat for a diverse range of species and is used for environmental awareness and education programmes.
Volunteers on this project will have the incredible opportunity to contribute towards the conservation and protection of the Iberian Wolf. Only a century ago, they inhabited areas of Spain and Portugal in high numbers, but unfortunately, due to hunting and other man made factors, they became endangered during the late twentieth century. The meaningful work of volunteers on this project is extremely important.

Volunteers will be accommodated in very comfortable wooden housing, based in a beautiful nature area. Working with local staff, they will have the opportunity to partake in a wide range of activities such as; monitoring the behaviour of the wolves, observing their health, helping with feeding and supplying water, forest cleaning, maintenance of the centres infrastructure and forest fire prevention.   

•    Gain hands on wildlife conservation experience
•    Make a positive impact towards the conservation and protection of the Iberian Wolf
•    Explore the rich Portuguese culture
•    Live and work in beautiful surroundings
•    Make lifelong friends and unforgettable memories!


Location        Mafra, Portugal
Activities        Learning all aspects of a Wolf conservation programme!
                       Monitoring and observing the health of the Iberian wolves
                       Feeding and water supply
                        Maintenance of centres infrastructure
Transport        Airport pick-up & transfer to project location
Accommodation            A comfortable wooden house in a beautiful nature area!


Before you go
•    Pre-departure support & documentation
•    Travel and medical advice & documentation
•    Advice on visas & equipment
•    Discounted medical kit
•    Free Frontier T-shirt (UK only)
•    Accommodation
•    3 meals a day for the first 2 days in Lisbon
•    Project orientation and training
•    24-hour international HQ backup


A variety of qualifications are available on many of our projects. For example, BTEC certificates and diplomas on our Group conservation projects and TEFL certificates and BTECs on most of our teaching projects. You may also be able to gain a CoPE to support your university application. For more information on these qualifications, please see the qualifications section of our website or ask your volunteer advisor.

The Iberian wolves population numbers have decreased drastically over the past century. This is due predominantly to human activities.  Despite a recent resurgence their population numbers are still low, therefore conservation efforts are required.
The project aims to ensure that the Wolves have what they need to survive such as food and water. Behaviour patterns are also monitored and health checks carried out with appropriate action taken by professionals is urgently required.

You will be working together with local staff and other volunteers from all around the world to help protect and conserve the Iberian wolf at a centre based in a nature area.  You will participate in a wide range on day to day activities at the centre including; helping with feeding, checking and refilling the water supply, monitoring health, fire prevention, maintaining forest areas and the centres infrastructure.
This opportunity will allow you to make a real difference towards the conservation of a vulnerable species. You do not need any special skills to participate in this programme, just a wiliness to help and an interest in wildlife conservation.  
You will also get the opportunity to travel around Mafra and Lisbon with your fellow volunteers. By working alongside local people you will get inside knowledge on the best spots to eat and shop while you enjoy your days off. This means you may have access to some of the most beautiful places in Portugal that are off the beaten track, providing you the opportunity to fully immerse yourself in Portuguese culture – all while making new friends from around the world and making a truly meaningful difference on a fantastic conservation project!

Please note that many of the tasks involved in this project are require medium-heavy phyiscal effort (such as carrying wieghts around 8kg), and that as the centre is in a forested valley the ground is irregular with steep slopes, so you must be able to undertake the physical tasks with the terrain in mind. If there are any specific details about your overall health  that you think could interfere with your participation with the program let us know so that we can arrange the best outcome for you to come to Portugal and help with suitable tasks.

You will be picked up at Lisbon International Airport by a member of our in-country staff. You will then be transported to your accommodation where you will be given an introduction to the program and the city.

Volunteers on this project stay in a very comfortable wooden houses in a nature area.

Three meals a day are provided for volunteers. Unfortunately vegetarian, gluten-free and lactose-free meals are not provided. Additionally local restaurants, cafes and supermarkets are available for you to try the local cuisine.

For the first 2 days 3 meals a day are provided, and will always have meat, fish and vegetarian options. After the first 2 days you will be at the wolf conservation centre and you will be accompanied to local supermarkets to purchase food once a week that you will cook for yourselves during the day - an excellent way to bond with other volunteers and to see what the local cuisine has to offer!

Ten Most Recent Reviews for This Project

impressive!  | 17 Nov 2019
This was a really rewarding project! It was tough at times to deal with a different culture and l...

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In your spare time you can explore the local area of Mafra. There are plenty of sights to see with the main attraction being the magnificent Palácio de Mafra, an extravagant palace-monastery hybrid built in 1717.
Or if you fancy exploring Lisbon’s rich culture and history you can get there in 40 minutes by express bus. You can explore the many architectural marvels of the city including the Mosteiro dos Jerimos and nearby Tower of Belém, both UNESCO World Heritage Sites.


2 week US$1,645

The project is open all year round except December and January.

2 or 4 weeks

March 31 - April 13

April 14 - April 27

April 28 - May 11

May 13 - May 29

June 1 - June 15

June 17 - July 3

July 3 - July 19

July 20 - August 5

August 5 - August 21

August 21 - September 6

September 7 - September 23 

September 23 - October 9

October 12 - October 26

October 27 - November 9 


November 10 - November 23

Before you go

•    Pre-departure support & documentation
•    Travel and medical advice & documentation
•    Advice on visas & equipment
•    Discounted medical kit
•    Free Frontier T-shirt (UK only)
•    Accommodation
•    Project orientation and training
•    24-hour international HQ backup


Nearest airport(s): Lisbon (LIS)


  • Flights
  • Visas
  • Insurance

For detailed information on flights, visas and insurance, click here.


Please read our legal statement regarding the running of NGO projects.

To apply for this placement, click on "Apply Now" below. Fill in the short application form and one of our advisers will then call you back to answer any questions and make sure this is the perfect placement for you. Applying doesn't cost a penny and you won't pay anything until you're completely happy and you're ready to reserve your place.

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