Internship: Wildlife Conservation Research in the Amazon Rainforest
Fauna Forever’s flagship ‘Wildlife Conservation Research Internship’ provides participants with the unique opportunity of working alongside and learning from a dynamic team of researchers and conservationists in a spectacular Neotropical environment, on the front line of Amazon conservation efforts in Peru.
FF’s wildlife conservation research interns are able to work with us for a 1-12 month period, within one of our core research teams (mammal, bird, herpetofauna, invertebrate or plant), or in some cases on a research project of the participant’s choice. The intern will carry out their research with the close support of an experienced coordinator as well as the FF research teams which include other fellow interns and volunteers. Research will be carried out at one or multiple locations within the renowned Madre de Dios region in Peru. Sites commonly used include research stations and ecolodges in the remote and particularly biodiverse Las Piedras watershed, in and around the 1,478,942-hectare Tambopata National Reserve (TNR), dotted along the principal river in the region, the Madre de Dios, and on occasion in and around the ‘jungle city’ of Puerto Maldonado or other disturbed habitats for comparative studies.
After initial welcomes and training in Puerto Maldonado, FF wildlife conservation research interns will move to their field research locations where they will live and work with trips back into town depending on data collection vs. data analysis requirements. FF’s research teams take a large amount of research and monitoring data each day and all interns are required to ensure good quality and well-controlled data collection, input and analysis. Most wildlife conservation research interns will cover many miles of rainforest trails and should be prepared for long walks. Interns in this program will almost certainly be placed at FF study sites which are high in species diversity and abundance and can expect to see a plethora of species across all taxonomic groups during their time with us.
More information about Internships with Fauna Forever
FF is committed to researching and protecting Peru’s rainforests. We are recruiting volunteers and interns, who care about nature, to join our 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 researching mammals, birds, amphibians, reptiles, insects, and plants, over an extensive period of time (since 1997) and across a number of study sites (20+) 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
- more than 120 days
- 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 minimum charge 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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