Indonesia has long been a hotspot for the smuggling of wildlife out of the county onto the global market via the Philippines, and onward to Taiwan, China, and Japan. Orangutans, macaques, sun bears, gibbons, tarsiers, and pangolins are some of the most endangered mammals being smuggled out of the country; and cockatoos and hornbills, as well as turtles and other reptiles, are shipped out in even bigger quantities. Illegal trade in wildlife and wildlife parts is a lucrative, well-organized and dangerous international business – second only to the black market trade of illegal drugs and firearms. Indonesia, home to a spectacular array of wildlife species, is reeling from the loss of animals to illegal trade. The islands can now claim to have the highest number of internationally threatened mammals and birds, largely due to this smuggling as well as habitat loss through deforestation and uncontrolled hunting.
Enter organizations like our partner in Indonesia, established to rescue and rehabilitate wildlife confiscated from the illegal wildlife trade. Our partner centre is strategically located in Indonesia where it can tackle the cross-border trade. This sustainably-run rescue centre allows authorities to enforce wildlife laws, carry out their raids and confiscate live animals. These animals are offered care and rehabilitation, with the hope of being able to release them back into the wild. Those animals that cannot be released are provided long-term care at the centre. Our partner also supports the protection of wildlife and their habitats through education and advocacy. Help support our partner and the work they do to rescue, rehabilitate and release wildlife in Indonesia. Volunteers are needed now, to help care for the animals at the centre. Be part of the solution to this international problem that affects us all. Our partner’s existence gives hope that this devastating trade can one day be stopped entirely.
Northern Sulawesi has long been a hotspot for the smuggling of wildlife out of Indonesia onto the global market via the Philippines, and onward to Taiwan, China and Japan. Orangutans, macaques, sun bears, gibbons, tarsiers, and pangolins were some of the most endangered mammals being smuggled out of the country; and cockatoos and hornbills, as well as turtles and other reptiles, are shipped out in even bigger quantities. Sulawesi is an island known for its endemic wildlife, making it even more important to have a centre with local influence that could contribute in fighting the illegal wildlife trade. Tasikoki Wildlife Rescue Centre’s mission is to support the government law enforcement agencies through conservation, education and advocacy to support the protection of wildlife and their habitats, facilitating the placement of confiscated wildlife, treating and rehabilitating confiscated animals, and providing long-term care for those animals that cannot be released back to the wild.
Our partner’s mission is to support the government law enforcement agencies through conservation education and advocacy, facilitating the placement of confiscated wildlife, and rehabilitating these animals.
Volunteers provide care for all the animals at the centre. They are divided into teams and have assigned daily tasks lists. Volunteers will spend much of their time creating environmental and behavioural enrichments for the animals. Other tasks include collecting browse for the animals to eat, cleaning and disinfecting enclosures, providing fresh drinking water and creating diets. Volunteers also help with the weekly clean-up of the beach at the project site. As animals arrive there will be new projects assigned as needed, such as enclosure building and maintenance.
The morning starts early to avoid the heat of the day. Shifts are from 6:00 am – 4:00 pm with time off for breakfast, lunch and water breaks. Volunteers are scheduled to work 5 days a week, with one personal day off and one communal day off where all volunteers are off on the same day.
All volunteers stay together on site, near the rescue centre and the beach. The volunteer house can have up to 20 volunteers at a time, with a communal living area for dining and relaxing so you can get to know your fellow volunteers and make new friends. The volunteer house is set up dormitory style, with separate male and female sleeping areas furnished with bunkbeds, fans, and mosquito netting. Each dormitory has a balcony, and there are personal spaces for your belongings with lockable cabinets.
All meals are provided as well as coffee, tea, water and fresh fruit. Meals are simple and a mix of Indonesian and western cuisine.
Do you have questions about safety? We have answers right here!
Airport pick up and drop off (at the closest airport), accommodation, meals, on-site training, donation to Placement Partner, AEI Travel Manual, any extras from placement, emergency support while at placement, carbon credits to offset 3 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions, premium Individual Travel Insurance (up to $500, 000 USD in emergency medical coverage), travel discounts (through automatic membership to a volunteer only travel discount program), 24/7 travel and emergency assistance, enrolment with the Global Travel Academy to earn a certificate in International Volunteering. This 3-hour online course is curated by travel professionals and is designed to help you get the most out of your adventure.
Flights, entry visa costs, international and domestic airport taxes, immunizations and medications. All clients are required to get a TB test before they volunteer for the program, we recommend clients sign up for their TB test before they apply as getting results can take some time.
What is Serious
Sulawesi is an island known for its amazing diversity of wildlife. This makes it even more important to have a centre with local influence that can contribute to fighting the illegal wildlife trade. Government authorities can only enforce the anti-smuggling laws if they have a place to take the wildlife that have been confiscated. Our partner tries to meet this need. With the support of volunteers like you, the centre can accept confiscated wildlife and offer them the care and attention they need. Many of these wild animals come to the centre as babies or young animals, as they are easier for the smugglers to kidnap and remove from the country. These animals have been kept in horrible conditions, waiting to be sold in Indonesian markets or smuggled out of the country. The mortality rate of these animals is extremely high. Those that survive often arrive at the centre terrified, dehydrated, and in poor health. The animals are accepted at the centre, offered treatments and then rehabilitated. The end goal is to return them to the wild or provided the wildlife that can’t be released with quality long term care.
This important work also serves as a way to teach people about wildlife and habitat conservation. The vision of the wildlife rescue centre is to diminish the trade in protected wildlife species in Indonesia with a view to ending it entirely. This can only happen when people understand the value of wildlife and the importance of protecting them. When you volunteer with our partner, you too will become an advocate for ending the illegal wildlife trade, and you will contribute to these important conservation efforts.
What is Fun
Northern Sulawesi is a popular tourist destination with beautiful beaches and some of the best snorkeling and diving areas in the world. You will be working with amazing wildlife while living minutes from the ocean in a beautiful tropical part of Indonesia. There will be a group of international volunteers staying at the volunteer house with you. You will get to know your fellow volunteers as you work side by side during the day and relax together in the evenings and on your days off. Volunteers can spend time at the beach or enjoy activities at the volunteer house. For those wishing to try local cuisine there are restaurants in the nearby villages, and often volunteers will group together to share a taxi to go into town after a day of work. The centre offers a variety of day excursions at a reasonable cost. If you wish to explore the beautiful island you can take a tour of local towns and markets, spend the day snorkelling or diving, go bird watching on Mount Mahawu visit Tangkoko Nature Reserve. Every week a group excursion or social activity is planned and all volunteers are invited. You will be enchanted by the beauty of Indonesia and amazed with the wildlife you will be working with at the rescue centre. Your time volunteering will make a difference for the wildlife in your care, but will also leave an impression on your heart as you take countless memories away with you.
Dates and Details
This is an ongoing program with operations year round. There are no specific start or end dates, however placements start on weekdays.
Are you thinking of fundraising for a portion, or all your fees? Many of our clients have been very successful with their fundraising efforts. To learn more about their successful fundraising projects and see how you can fund raise for your experience, please visit our fundraising page!