Internship for Research, Conservation and Community Engagement in the Amazon Rainforest

The Amazon Rainforest Research, Conservation and Community Engagement Internship provides a select group of participants with the experience of working alongside and learning from a team of experts in spectacularly rich and biologically diverse ecosystems, in the primary old-growth forests of Peru’s Amazon.

FF’s Amazon Rainforest Research, Conservation and Community Engagement Interns work for a 1 month (minimum) to 12 month period (sometimes longer), either within one of our core wildlife research teams (mammal, bird, herpetofauna, invertebrate or plant), or our program areas (sustainability, permaculture, eco-drones, community engagement, sustainable business). In some cases interns may undertake their own projects which are developed by the participant themselves or more commonly co-developed with Fauna Forever. The intern will carry out the work with the close support of an experienced field coordinator, as well as the FF research teams of fellow interns and volunteers. Work is carried out at one or multiple locations within the world-renowned rainforest region of Madre de Dios, Peru. Sites visited include research stations, ecolodges and research camps in the remote and remarkably biodiverse Las Piedras watershed, in and around the 1,478,942-hectare Tambopata National Reserve (TNR), dotted along the principal Madre de Dios river, and on occasion in and around the ‘jungle city’ of Puerto Maldonado, or other disturbed habitats for comparative studies.

After an initial welcome and training session in Puerto Maldonado, FF interns will be transported (usually by 4×4 and boat) to their field locations, where they will live and work for the majority of their time with Fauna Forever, with infrequent (once a month) trips back to town, depending on work/data collection vs. referencing/data analysis requirements. Fauna Forever’s teams take a large amount of research and monitoring data and create incredible works each day. The teams are required to produce results/reports for their projects and Fauna Forever is able to work with interns’ universities for PTY, gap-year, industrial placement, or university credit programs. Fauna Forever offers references and certificates for all participants.

Expect extremely beautiful old-growth forest, rich species diversity and abundance, a fun motivated team, and comfortable living conditions with experienced staff, including the best cooks in the region!

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Bird ringing, banding, handling techniques, mist netting in the Amazon rainforest

Research Internship with Neotropical birds, photo by bird intern Matt de Couto

Beetle trap in the making, by Insect Intern Blair Grossman

More information about Internships with Fauna Forever

Banding, ringing, mist netting in the amazon rainforest with Fauna Forever

Bird banding intern Freddie Harvey Williams banding a woodcreeper

Swamps, forest caiman, otters, snakes in the Amazon rainforest

Studying watershed systems: swamp, stream and river wildlife.

Ocelot photo taken by volunteer in Peruvian Amazon

Studying ccelot (Leopardus pardalis), taken by Leo Plunkett

Study giant river otters, photo by otter intern Leah Rivendel

Gold mining destroys and pollutes Amazon rainforest in Peru Madre de Dios

Mining is a destructive activity and should be further studied to improve the situation


Intern Peru Research Project Volunteer Rainforest


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FF is committed to researching and protecting Peru’s rainforests.  They are recruiting volunteers and interns, who care about nature, to join their conservation efforts on the Amazon front lines.

FF manages a number of projects in the Madre de Dios region of Peru. These are a few of our key initiatives:

  • A long-term wildlife monitoring project called Fauna Forever Tambopata (FFT).  FFT specialises in the research and monitoring of mammals, birds, amphibians, reptiles, insects, and plants, over a long period of time (since 1997) and across a vast land area including 20+ study sites in the region.
  • A land conservation and ecotourism project called the Amazon Research and Conservation Center (ARCC). ARCC’s vision is to create a place where wild nature thrives, providing the opportunity for discovery, renewal and adventure.
  • An animal welfare project called Rainforest Animal Rescue and Rehabilitation (RARR). RARR focusses on the care and rehabilitation of both domestic pets and some captive wild species (kept by other organisations).
  • An environmental education and awareness initiative called Amazon Research and Conservation TV (ARCtv). ARCtv is dedicated to educating youth at schools in Puerto Maldonado, surrounding villages and the global public.
  • An ecosystem services project, involving the economic valuation of intact forest.

FF also runs a series of workshops and courses including:

  • Ecology, conservation, geography, anthropology, forest management and more (in collaboration with schools, colleges and universities)
  • Bird banding/ringing and handling techniques (in collaboration with CORBIDI)
  • Wildlife photography (in collaboration with Untamed Photography)
  • Nature videography (in collaboration with Relevant Films)
  • Statistical techniques

To help FF’s core team of Peruvian and international staff undertake and manage these initiatives, and to help us answer some deeper ecological and socio-economic questions revealed by our work, we have developed over many years the FF volunteer and intern programs.

A participant who joins Fauna Forever for more than 1 month will be classed as an FF intern. For anyone wishing to spend less than 1 month with Fauna Forever, please see our volunteer research assistant positions (mammal, bird, herpetofauna or caiman) or speak to us about a shorter placement for an internship of your choice.

FF is presently able to accommodate around 10 interns per month.  Intern periods can stretch from 1-12 months (current mean = 3.5 months). Typically, an intern will spend about 4-5 hours a day focussed on activities either in the FF head-office, around Puerto Maldonado or off in the field. During the rest of their time, interns are free to explore the area, improve their Spanish language skills, coordinate fun activities with other interns and staff, and mingle with visiting volunteers and researchers. At least a basic knowledge of Spanish is encouraged, though it is not a pre-requisite as most interns pick up at least some Spanish during their time here.

All interns receive a general orientation and induction at the start of their visit, after which they are assigned to one or other of our project staff, though swapping in and out of different projects is also possible.

Some intern applicants express an interest in undertaking their own project, either as a dissertation requirement, to obtain extra credits from their university, or simply to get further experience of planning and executing such projects in a tropical environment. We are very happy to accommodate this type of project, and can provide the necessary supervision and guidance both in the planning and execution stages. Indeed, we also supply a list of potential mini-project titles to help successful candidates choose an appropriate subject. 

The FF intern program requires interested candidates to officially apply for one of our limited number of intern positions, either directly through us or one of our partner agencies in Peru, UK, South Africa, and USA. This can be done using our Intern Application Form.

~Internship Dates & Fees

As a mission-driven organisation, FF invests all its income into pursuing its vision for rainforest research and conservation. We ask all FF participants to contribute a fee to cover the majority of their in-country costs. The longer participants stay, the lower are the daily fixed costs for FF, and thus the lower the daily fee. The basic contribution fees for 2013-2014 are summarised below:


  • 1 month (minimum)
  • 2 months
  • 3 months
  • 4 months
  • more than 4 months


  • 30
  • 60
  • 90
  • 120
  • more than 120 days

Internship Fee

  • US$ 2,295
  • US$ 3,795
  • US$ 5,000
  • US$ 6,000
  • US$ 50 per day

Please speak to us about a shorter placement for an internship of your choice.

Please Note: For other durations (e.g. 45 days) we apply a pro-rata system to determine the final fee. **This pro-rata system does NOT apply for periods longer than 120 days (4 months) at which point the maximum fee is US$50 per day. For personal internship project needs, requiring services other than our regular provisions, an additional fee may be required to cover this.

* What the fee includes

  • Accommodation from start to end of the period
  • Three substantial and healthy meals every day
  • Clean drinking water at all times
  • Airport or bus station (Puerto Maldonado) transfers on arrival and departure
  • Basic support and training: Health & Safety; species identification; impacts and challenges affecting the rainforests in Madre de Dios; research and conservation solutions for the rainforests in Madre de Dios, machete use; and much more
  • Personal training and supervisions within your chosen project/field of work, by an experienced coordinator (2-4 interns per coordinator)
  • Higher supervision and care from an experienced management team based at our head office in Puerto Maldonado and in the field
  • An experience of a lifetime in one of the most spectacular natural environments on earth

What the fee does not include

  • Travel insurance (this is compulsory)
  • Flights and/or bus tickets to and from Puerto Maldonado
  • Spending money for snacks, sodas and souvenirs

Internship Fee Analysis (2012-2013)
Were does your money go?

64% – Food & lodging for research & conservation workforce

16% – Staffing & staff training

8% – Transport of research and conservation workforce

8% – Equipment for research and conservation work

3% – Donations/Fees to partnering NGOs

2% – FF administration and communication costs

0% – Profits

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