Volunteer and Internship Opportunity in the Peruvian Amazon

Subject: Volunteer and Internship Opportunity in the Peruvian Amazon

Hello from the Peruvian Amazon!
ARCAmazon is looking for volunteers and interns to assist us with researching terrestrial and arboreal wildlife at our remote site in the primary rainforests of the Peruvian Amazon. Volunteers and interns will support the vital work of our busy Camera Trapping team based at 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 camera traps helps us create conservation strategies for ARCAmazon and its partners during our quest to establish a 50,000-hectare Las Piedras Conservation Corridor.
Our programs include Forest Rangers, Green Living, Primate Conservation and Camera Trapping and Tree Climbing.

ARCAmazon’s Forest Rangers are essential to the protection of the forest. They play a vital role in maintaining a presence on the Las Piedras Amazon Center‘s 4,460 hectare reserve. The presence of official representatives on the land helps prevent incursion of illicit activities such as timber extraction and hunting. Our Forest Rangers provide an on-going supply of research data which helps ARCAmazon identify where threats may occur and what activities are being carried out on the land. In addition, they contribute to the long-term collection of core data sets for mammals, birds and herpetofauna. They are responsible for maintaining an extensive trail network and ensuring all signage is maintained. Finally, the Forest Rangers are in part responsible for relations between ARCAmazon and its neighboring communities and forest users. Volunteers will assist the rangers with day-to-day data collection, input and analysis; monitor the status of the concession and its wildlife; and help ensure the work is reported back to the organization’s management, stakeholders and supporters.
Our goal at the Las Piedras Amazon Center is to demonstrate sustainable living through green infrastructure and energy, local food sourcing, permaculture, reduction of waste and best practice for forest use. Buildings at the center are created using majority locally-sourced materials such as timber, earth, bamboo and cane. We use a mix of local and foreign expertise to ensure buildings can withstand the heavy rains and high humidity of the jungle, while keeping up with new (and ancient) techniques that reduce impact on the environment. Working with our local teams and natural building expert, Whitey Flagg, participants on Amazon Academy‘s Green Living, Natural Building and Permaculture Program have an opportunity to co-create the very living space from which teams will continue to advance conservation and community outreach efforts in Las Piedras. Participants will help demonstrate the techniques and importance of natural building, permaculture and responsible living to hundreds of visitors each year, as well as set an example for local communities who are encouraged to take part in the program. Participants may also have the chance to work in the nearby community of Lucerna to co-develop community-specific green living projects. Participants will learn about living responsibly in the rainforest, have the opportunity to go into the forest with research teams, visit communities and experience one of the most spectacular ecosystems on Earth.
Volunteers and interns will support the vital work of our Primate Conservation Research Team, based in a remote watershed in the south eastern corner of Peru, near the border with Bolivia and Brazil. Our task is to better understand the current status–and assist with conserving–the endangered Peruvian black spider monkey (Ateles chamek) and at least 8 other species of monkey found in the local area. Research undertaken by the team helps us determine strategies for local conservationists in their quest to create a Biodiversity Corridor in an important river system, which is at risk from illegal logging, gold mining and slash-and-burn deforestation for unsustainable agriculture.
The Camera Trapping Team works in small groups to set up, revise and analyze camera trap footage 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 recently 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 40m) and wildlife observation from the canopy.

There is a cost for these programs. For further information please contact David Johnson at info@arcamazon.org


ARCAmazon Team