Peru’s Amazon Rainforest – Volunteer to research Mammals in the remote Las Piedras watershed:
ARCAmazon is looking for volunteers and interns to assist us us on our Mammal Conservation Research Team. Our intensive Mammals Program is based from the Las Piedras Amazon Center (LPAC). Our task is to better understand the current status–and assist with conserving–the vast abundance and diversity of wildlife found in the Las Piedras Watershed. Research undertaken with the mammal team helps us create conservation strategies for ARCAmazon and its partners during our quest to establish a 50,000 hectare Las Piedras Conservation Corridor.
The team is currently studying several themes. We use two primary strategies- transects and camera trapping- to understand the presence of mammal species on our property, the predator-prey relationships between them, foraging behavior, and also the arboreal mammal population. Volunteers will learn how to complete a mammal transect, set up cameras, then revise and analyze their data, and finally determine species densities and discuss how human activities may be affecting specific species in and around the ARCAmazon protected area.
- Track, observe, and record data on data on wild and endangered neotropical mammals
- Trek through pristine lowland Amazon rainforest
- Learn about mammals and… herpetofauna, birds, insects, plants, fungi, indigenous communities, forestry, permaculture and much more.
- Gain skills in mammal research techniques such as – neotropical mammal identification and training, mammal transects, camera trapping, revision and editing of camera trap footage, tree climbing techniques and safety, tracking and track identification, GPS GIS basics, data entry and analysis, equipment maintenance, and more
- Meet researchers, artists, and explorers from all around the world
- Help us protect Las Piedras, one of the last frontier wilderness areas on Earth, a Biodiversity Hotspot that is home to some of the last Uncontacted Tribes in existence!
- 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
— Fees cover full board and lodging, training and supervision, daily wildlife research, plenty of fun adventures and relaxing in-between work, airport transfers and in-country support.
Remember, ARCAmazon is a non-profit so 100% of fees are used to cover the costs of research, conservation and sustainable development in the Las Piedras watershed.
More Detail – Mammal Program
The Mammal Research Team works in small groups to set up, revise and analyze data for both terrestrial and arboreal studies. For the first terrestrial study we focus on population densities of ocelots (Leopardus pardalis) and their main prey at various points around the concession. We change the location of the camera traps once a month to gain a better understanding of ocelots’ use of the rainforest and their ranges. For the second project we move and install fixed camera traps in the canopy using climbing gear to access the crowns of the trees. This study is to observe the general population of arboreal mammals since the use of camera traps in the canopy is a relatively new study method. The benefits of placing camera traps in the canopy are similar to placing them on the ground – to see mammals that are active at night and those that are difficult to find due to their elusive nature. The team also focuses on identifying rare species as well as studying the distribution of mammals currently identified. During a volunteer’s first week, they will be trained in safety protocol, camera trap use, canopy tree climbing and any other pertinent information for the field. The main focus of this study is camera trapping but other activities include: mammal walks during the early morning, afternoon, or night, tree climbing (up to 40 m) and wildlife observation from the canopy, and animal track identification with creating molds from fresh tracks traps/spoor.
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.
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.
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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