Wild Altai volunteer fieldwork [2022]

The Wild Altai volunteer fieldwork program connects intrepid, fit, and self-funded travelers with conservation fieldwork opportunities. Our partner scientists and conservationists are involved in raptor (eagles, owls, hawks)  research, snow leopard studies, and argali and ibex population surveys, among other important initiatives.  IMPORTANT: As of December 2023, we have halted all work in Russia and this site is an archive only.

The Altai Project is proud to facilitate individual and small group opportunities to participate in field work to help local scientists monitor and protect snow leopards, argali sheep, raptors (incl. steppe and imperial eagles, saker falcons), Siberian ibex, and other important species.

A sampling of volunteer activities, all conducted under the close supervision of local wildlife scientists, park rangers, and experts includes:

  • surveying animals along monitoring routes,
  • participating in population censuses,
  • building nesting boxes and platforms,
  • working with captive-bred birds,
  • documenting wildlife activity, and
  • deploying and collecting data from camera/video traps.

Volunteers must be experienced in back-country travel, fit to hike and ride horseback at up to 3500 m of elevation, and purchase their own comprehensive travel and medical (with evacuation) insurance policies.

Summer weather conditions range from warm and sunny (up to 25˚C/77˚F) to snow and hail, especially at higher elevations. Nighttime summer temperatures are cold (as low as 0˚C/32˚F). Base camp elevations average 2400 m (7900 ft) above sea level, but volunteers will also climb (by vehicle or on foot/horseback) to elevations of 3200-3500 m (10,500-11,500 ft) on some days. Other seasons are correspondingly colder!