Monkey Conservation Research Volunteer

Peruvian Amazon Rainforest | Learn About Tropical Wildlife Research

Study endangered monkeys in the remote Peruvian Amazon

Peru’s Amazon Rainforest – Volunteer to research and conserve endangered monkeys in the wild Las Piedras watershed:

ARCAmazon, a Peruvian not-for-profit organization, is running learning programs for volunteers to be able to assist with its long-term research of wild and endangered monkey groups. Research is run from ARCAmazon’s research base, Las Piedras Amazon Center (LPAC), in the primary rainforests of Las Piedras, a remote watershed in the southeastern Peruvian Amazon. Volunteer researchers will support the vigorous work carried out by our Primate Conservation Research Team. Daily tasks include tracking the resident primate groups on foot using GPS, recording data on primate behavior, and analyzing the data to better understand the potential impacts of human development and land-use on primate populations. One of our main goals is to better understand the current status–and assist with conserving–the endangered Peruvian black spider monkey (Ateles chamek) and at least 9 other species of primate found in the Las Piedras watershed. Research undertaken by the Primate Conservation Research Team helps us to determine the best possible conservation strategies for us and our partners as we develop a ‘strategic conservation zone’, the Las Piedras Corridor (LPC).

Learning & Experience Offered:

  • Neo-tropical field research techniques
  • Off-trail primate follows using GPS
  • Mammal/Primate transects (Visual encounter surveys)
  • Species identification (fauna and flora)
  • Identification of individuals (Spider monkeys)
  • Data entry
  • Statistics and analysis
  • GIS basics and mapping
  • Basic wilderness skills
  • GPS and compass orienteering
  • Machete use
  • Important plant identification
  • Health & Safety
  • Wildlife conservation strategies
  • Trail creation and maintenance
  • Camp living and camp work
  • Weekly fun activities include: River boat rides, local community visits and interactions, volleyball, waterfalls, viewpoint, macaw and parrot clay-lick, campouts.
  • All volunteer researchers will also have the opportunity to spend time with other researchers and research teams at the camp.

Monkey Research Volunteer Fees:

  • 1 Week – US$ 950
  • 2 Weeks – US$ 1,445
  • 3 Weeks – US$ 1,750
  • 1 Month – US$ 2,345
  • 2 Months – US$ 3,955
  • 3 Months – US$ 5,130
  • 4 Months – US$ 6,120
  • 5 Months – US$ 7,500
  • 6 Months – US$ 9,000
— Volunteer fees cover full board and lodging, three delicious meals each day, snacks and refreshments, training and supervision, daily wildlife research activities, fun activities on days off, airport collection and drop-off, and transport to and from the research center.

More Details – Primate Program

The Primate Conservation Research Team consists of between 2-6 persons (researchers, assistants and volunteers). The team, led by primatologist, studies the Endangered Peruvian black spider monkey (Ateles chamek). The spider monkey is an important species for the region as it is one of the largest frugivorous mammals and therefore, a main seed disperser. Unfortunately, they are also one of the most seriously affected by hunting and habitat loss. The team conducts research throughout the day, normally from sunrise to sunset (may include night walks) with plenty of rest in-between. Data is collected by monkey follows (walking 5-10 km per day, though it is possible to run half days for those less able). The team records data on the group’s activity budget, home range, forest level use, group dynamics and diets. You will come across many of the 9 other species of primates whilst out in the forest and will be taught on their ecology.
Volunteers and interns will assist the researcher with their daily field work of observation, documentation, data input, and analysis. Training will be given prior to the actual fieldwork, including safety in the rainforest, research methodologies, machete use and information on the local flora and fauna. Saturdays and Sundays are often used for work around camp, assisting in the kitchen, cleaning, washing clothes, practicing Spanish (with staff and local community members), helping other projects, exploring more of the jungle and most importantly relaxing. Fun activities for all can include swimming at the waterfalls, climbing up to the lookout point, stream walks and swims, mini expeditions, boat rides, Brazil nut harvesting, community visits and sports days, visiting agroforestry farms, physical labor, gardening, exercise programs, volleyball, board games and lazing in one of the many hammocks dotted around the station.

Primate Species Found at LPAC

Primate Species Found During our Research in Las Piedras:

  • Bolivian red howler monkey (Alouatta seniculus)
  • Black-headed night monkey (Aotus nigriceps)
  • Peruvian black spider monkey (Ateles chamek)
  • Toppin’s titi (Plectorecebus toppini)
  • White-fronted capuchin (Cebus albifrons)
  • Bolivian squirrel monkey (Saimiri boliviensis)
  • Saddleback tamarin (Saguinus fuscicollis)
  • Black-capped capuchin (Sapajus macrocephallus)
  • Gray’s bald faced saki (Pithecia irrorata)
  • Goeldi’s monkey (Callimico goeldii)

Other Primates Suspected to be in Las Piedras:

  • Emperor tamarin (Saguinus imperador)
  • Pygmy marmoset (Cebuella pygmaea)
  • Ryland’s Bald-Faced Saki (Pithecia rylandsi)
View the full list of mammal species at LPAC

Las Piedras Amazon Center (LPAC)

The Las Piedras Amazon Center (LPAC) has been designed to cater for field research, conservation tours, expeditions and learning programs. It has a rustic Medicine Man-style charm. For those who love to experience nature and raw wilderness in rustic comfort, this is the perfect place for immersion into the wild. The center is located near beautiful streams and waterfalls. It’s surrounded by over 50km of trail networks and research transects. The camp is comfortable and sustainable with raised camping platforms covered by up-cycled advertising billboards, a large 2-story central work/dining area and a fully-equipped kitchen. There is running water, limited electricity (4-5 hours a day), outdoor and indoor showers, western and composting toilets. The camp can hold up to 50 guests at a time. There is NO internet or cellular phone network. The center operates as a non-profit business, where 100% of income is used to improve infrastructure, pay dedicated conservation and research staff and expand ARCAmazon’s conservation reach.

See more about LPAC here.


Who We Are:

ARCAmazon is a Peruvian non-profit organization that is committed to protecting and conserving Peru’s Amazon Rainforest; its valuable natural resources, its function in reducing climate change, its biodiversity and indigenous peoples. ARCAmazon’s team of experts have been active in Peru’s Madre de Dios region since the 90’s. They have trained thousands of volunteers and interns from all around the world, encouraging many to go on to become professionals in the environmental sector. Our team is constantly gaining knowledge and experience of the complex relationships between humans and the rainforest environment. This helps us to refine our conservation strategies and essentially become more effective over time. We lead and support research on themes from biodiversity to ethnobotany, socio-economics to sustainable business, agro-forestry to permaculture and conservation. ARCAmazon believes in the importance of sharing data with land owners, policy makers, NGOs and businesses, to help encourage all parties to take a stake in protecting this critical part of the planet.

The Amazon Rainforest in Peru is the perfect environment for aspiring researchers and wildlife enthusiasts to gain invaluable knowledge and skills while making a difference on the front-lines of ecosystem and biodiversity conservation. The work we do requires energy and enthusiasm of many. We are looking for people from all nations, races, sexuality, ethnicity, ages, beliefs and interests to get involved. All we ask for is that you bring passion, respect, love and a desire to take action for good, to save one of the last truly wild frontiers on the planet.

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