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Maximising Your Animal Conservation Internship Experience

Article by GVI


Posted: December 21, 2022

Animal conservation internships provide a unique opportunity for individuals interested in pursuing a career in conservation or animal science. These internships offer hands-on experience working with animals, often in their natural habitats, and provide valuable skills and knowledge that can be applied to a variety of careers in the field.

What are animal conservation internships?

Animal conservation internships are unpaid or paid positions that allow individuals to work with animals and assist in conservation efforts. These internships can take place in a variety of settings, including wildlife sanctuaries, national parks and research facilities. Interns may be involved in tasks such as animal care and feeding, habitat restoration, data collection, and public education.

Many animal conservation internships are designed for college students or recent graduates, but some programs may also accept high school students or individuals with previous work experience in the field. Internship lengths can vary, but most last for a few months to a year.

Benefits of animal conservation internships

There are many benefits to participating in an animal conservation internship, including the opportunity to:


  • Gain hands-on experience working with animals and participating in conservation efforts.
  • Learn about animal behaviour, habitat management and conservation biology
  • Work with a variety of species.
  • Network with professionals in the field and build connections that can be valuable in finding future employment.
  • Participate in a fulfilling and meaningful personal experience by working with animals and contributing to their conservation.
  • How to find animal conservation internships.


There are many ways to find animal conservation internships, including through job search websites, conservation organisations, and universities. Here are a few tips for finding the right internship for you:

  • Search online job boards: There are many websites that list animal conservation internships, such as Conservation Job Board, Idealist and Wildlife Conservation Society. These websites allow you to search for internships by location, organisation, and field of study.
  • Contact conservation organisations: Many conservation organisations, such as World Wildlife Fund and The Nature Conservancy, offer internships for individuals interested in animal conservation. Contacting these organisations directly and inquiring about internships can be a great way to find opportunities.
  • Check with your university: Many universities have programs or resources that can help students find internships, including animal conservation internships. Check with your school’s career centre or biology department to see if they have any resources or connections in the field.
  • Consider volunteering: Volunteering at a wildlife sanctuary or other conservation organisation can be a great way to gain experience and potentially lead to an internship opportunity. Many organisations will consider volunteers for internships if they demonstrate a strong work ethic and dedication to the field.

Tips for a successful animal conservation internship

If you’re considering an animal conservation internship, there are a few things you can do to increase your chances of success and make the most of your experience:

  • Be proactive: Don’t wait for opportunities to come to you. Seek out internships and be proactive in applying and networking.
  • Develop your skills: Consider taking courses or volunteering in related fields to gain valuable skills and experience. This will make you a more competitive candidate and help you make the most of your internship.
  • Be open to different locations and types of organisations: While it’s natural to have a preference for certain locations or types of organisations, keep an open mind and consider all options. You may find that an internship in a location you weren’t initially interested in or with an organisation you weren’t familiar with ends up being the perfect fit for you.
  • Be prepared to work hard: Animal conservation internships can be physically and emotionally demanding, and often involve long hours and hard work. Be prepared to put in the effort and dedication required to make a meaningful contribution.
  • Make the most of your time: Use your internship as an opportunity to learn as much as you can and make the most of every experience. Ask questions, seek out additional learning opportunities, and take on additional responsibilities if they are available.


Overall, animal conservation internships, research fellowships and professional apprenticeships provide a unique opportunity for individuals interested in pursuing a career in conservation or animal science. These internships offer valuable hands-on experience working with animals, often in their natural habitats, and provide the opportunity to learn about animal behaviour, habitat management, and conservation biology. By being proactive, developing your skills and making the most of your time, you can make the most of your animal conservation internship and set yourself up for success in the field. Whether you’re looking to gain experience, build connections or make a meaningful contribution to conservation efforts, an animal conservation internship can be a rewarding and enriching experience.

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