Large Marine Vertebrates Research Institute Philippines (LAMAVE) is the largest independent non-stock non-government organization dedicated to the conservation of marine megafauna and the marine environment in the Philippines. We strive for conservation through scientific researchpolicy and education.

Our primary objective is the conservation of marine biodiversity in the Philippines. Using proven and novel scientific data collection methods, we research the abundance and habitats of cetaceans, whale sharks, turtles, shark and rays in the Philippines.  Our local and international researchers and volunteers work closely with local governments, communities, businesses, and tourists to ensure the conservation of large marine animals through science, education, and advocacy.  The scientific data we gather is used to advise local governments on conservation policy and legislation, to counsel local and regional authorities on sustainable tourism, and to empower local stakeholders to better protect the unique biodiversity in Philippine waters.

Apo Island Green Turtle Project:  Apo Island lies in the middle of the Mindanao Sea, off the south-eastern coast of Negros Oriental Island. It hosts one of the best green turtle snorkelling experiences in the Philippines. In 2016 LAMAVE started providing support to the Apo Island Protected Landscape and Seascape Management Board, to understand how the turtle population use the water of this protected area.

Main Duties

During in-water surveys the team are using photo-identification as a minimally invasive technique to collect baseline data on the local turtle population; adding this data to an existing database of the turtles seen on the island. Each turtle can be recognised by the scutes on the side of its head. Identifying each turtle allows the team to conduct focal follow studies to investigate any impact the tourism might be having on individuals.

In addition to dedicated behavioural surveys, LAMAVE aims to raise awareness about the unique habitat and history of Apo Island and its amazing biodiversity, through dedicated interpretation materials and campaigns


The minimum placement is 3 months at $450 per month.

This covers:

  • Accommodation
  • Utilities
  • 3 meals a day
  • Project related transport costs
  • Uniform

Does not cover:

  • Transport to and from the Placement
  • Visa costs
  • Leisure activities

Volunteer requirements

* At least 21 years old

* Minimum commitment of 3 months

* Fluent in English

* Able to work independently and as part of a team

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* Comfortable living in a shared home and in a remote setting with extremely basic amenities

* Willing to work long and irregular hours if needed

* Excellent swimming/snorkelling skills and ability to freedive to 7m

* Strong interest in turtles, research and conservation

* A degree in marine science, zoology, environmental sciences or related subjects are preferred


Further information

Please visit our website for further information regarding our volunteer positions. www.lamave.org/volunteers

To Apply:

Please send your CV and a cover letter with details of your experience and suitability for the role and your availability for volunteering to [email protected]. This project runs all year, volunteers can start on the 1st or 15th of each month.