If you’re passionate about helping animals and the environment, and you’re looking for long-term volunteer opportunities where you can pay it forward, then check out the following:

1. Woodstock Farm Animal Sanctuary

For a totally unique experience and one in which you’ll be able to connect with farm animals face to face, as well as establish community with like-minded people, and learn all about the various aspects of animal protection and care, Woodstock Farm Animal Sanctuary in New York is the place for you.

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From helping in the rescue of exploited animals to providing day to day care, interns are asked to fulfill a 40 hour per week schedule over a two to three month commitment. You’ll be responsible for buying and preparing your own food, and will have access to shared cooking facilities and possibly housing. Positions are filled quickly, especially during the summer months, so be sure to apply well in advance.

Location: New York

Commitment: 2-3 months

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2. PAWS

Caring and healing an average of 7,000 dogs, cats, and other wild animals every year is no easy feat, which is why PAWS need long-term, dedicated, and compassionate volunteers to help support their activities.

Whether you want to help organize and promote events, find loving forever homes for animals up for adoption, or nurse orphaned songbirds, if you love animals and have a soft spot for cats and dogs, and you work well with other people, then submit your application today!

Location: Washington

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Commitment: 3-6 months

3. Scuba Dive for Research and Conservation

If you’re fascinated with marine life and are passionate about conserving this beautiful and fragile habitat then why not spend your days exploring the magical underwater world of the Seychelles. You’ll be scuba diving with whale sharks, learning all about the coral reefs, and getting up close and personal with sea turtles, as you collect data for the local government and contribute towards protecting this incredibly diverse natural environment.

Most of your time will be spent underwater, but there will also be opportunities to go on dives to look for whale sharks and manta rays, as well as visit breeding areas of the green turtle, hawksbill, and endangered giant tortoise. Even if you’ve never gone diving before, you needn’t worry as you will undergo intensive training to master the ability to perform scuba dives with the purpose of performing scientific research.

Location: Seychelles

Commitment: 1-3 months

4. New Zealand Habitat Restoration

Experience the stunning beauty of New Zealand while lending a hand with conservation projects ranging from tree planting to surveying flora and fauna. If you love nothing more than getting your hands dirty and exploring the wonders of the wild then this volunteer project will be right up your street. One day you’ll be collecting seeds from native plants, the next you’ll be constructing wildlife trails!

Projects vary according to seasonal conditions and conservation priorities so you’ll be placed wherever you’re most needed at the time, be it urban, regional, or very remote locations, often traveling to a different location every two weeks. Upon arrival, you’ll have a couple of days to adjust to Kiwi life before being briefed and heading out to work.

Location: New Zealand

Commitment: 1-3 months

5. Orangutan Foundation International

The Orangutan Foundation International offers a rare opportunity to travel abroad and witness first hand the impact and realities of wildlife and habitat protection. Competition is high for this opportunity and previous experience working in similar climates and circumstances is required.

Volunteering at OFI will have a massive impact not just on your own life, but also on the lives of the thousands of orangutans that they are fighting to protect. Choose from five positions including communications and outreach programs, enriching the conditions of the care center, veterinary assistance, logistics, and providing support to the sun bears under OFI’s care through rehabilitation and release.

Location: Indonesia

Commitment: 6 months

Image Source: Paul/Flickr