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Positions Available

Research Assistantship in PREDATOR MONITORING

Hiring Organization:

Date Posted:

Position Description:
PROGRAM DESCRIPTION: It has long been difficult to obtain data on behavior of predators like felids and raptors but exciting new technologies has revolutionized the field of animal behavior. This program focuses on monitoring predator activity and behavior as part of a larger project on primate predator-prey interactions. Assistants working on this project will gain a unique insight into the perspective of elusive, ambush predators by monitoring predator movement and activities using remote activated HD camera traps and tracking felids using VHF and GPS telemetry.
It is an exciting task to conduct the weekly checks of our camera trap stations. In our most recent 45-day camera trap survey, we recorded 369 photos and videos of 29 species of mammals and 6 species of birds, including jaguars, margay kittens, short-eared dogs, tapirs, white-fronted capuchins, giant armadillos, and more! This activity is a continual reminder that you are working and living in one of the most biodiverse places on the planet—the Peruvian Amazon!
At the end of the program, research assistants will be able to:
• Track ocelots and other felids using radio telemetry
• Conduct basic spatial analyses of telemetry data
• Collect scat and conduct preliminary diet analysis
• Set up and operate remote camera traps
• Identify animals and manage camera trap database
• Photograph and make casts of felid tracks
• Monitor primate activity near raptor nests

We are currently recruiting participants with the following requirements. If you are uncertain if you are eligible, contact us at to confirm:

• Participants must be at least 18 years of age by the time the training program begins.
• Participants must demonstrate a grounding or strong interest in zoology, biology, or anthropology.
• Previous field experience is not required, but previous research experience (either outdoors or in the laboratory) will be a plus.
• Participants must be able to justify why this program is important to them and what they hope to gain from it.
• Participants must provide a letter of recommendation from a source that can substantiate the participant’s experience and skills.
• Participants must be unafraid of insects, reptiles and the jungle in general.
• Participants must be in good physical condition, with the capability to walk 4 miles a day while carrying field equipment.
• Participants will not be discriminated against for medical conditions they might have if we determine that being on this project will not pose an immediate risk to their health.
• Participants must demonstrate willingness to adjust their schedule to primate daily activity patterns. This can require waking up early, sometimes by 5 am, and going to bed early.
• Due to the nature of the work and weather constraints, participants MUST be willing to be flexible about their days off. Assistants will typically have one day off per week; however we cannot guarantee a set schedule each week.
• Participants must sign waivers of liability for this project and for the field station before their participation in the project is finalized.
• Participants must be willing to maintain long hours in the field, but also return to complete data entry in the evenings.
• Assistants will have the opportunity during days off to explore various attractions at the field site, such as searching for the resident anaconda at Pozo Don Pedro or looking for endangered giant river otters at Cocha Lobo.

COST: $1500 for 4 weeks. Longer stays are welcome and are prorated at $375 per week.

Support provided for internship/volunteer positions (travel, meals, lodging):
The program fee for all programs cover the following:
-Transportation to and from the field station once per participant
-Lodging and meals at the field station
-Training and activities related to the program provided by experienced instructors
-Access to the internet while at the field station, although it is slow and dependent on the weather

The course fee does not cover the following:
-Travel from your home to Puerto Maldonado in Perú
-Medical insurance, which is a requirement for the program
-Food and stay in Puerto Maldonado (available for cheap)
-Costs related to exigent circumstances under which a participant requires an early departure from the field station
-Medical costs of any kind
-Binoculars – each participant must bring their own pair of binoculars
-Field boots, headlamp/flashlight and other personal effects required for the program

Term of Appointment:
WHEN: June 10 – August 31, 2015 (Minimum commitment 4 weeks)

Application Deadline:
Start dates in June, July or August: apply by May 10, 2014; all other start dates, accepting applications on a rolling basis

More information is available on travel requirements (
amigos/) and the Los Amigos Field Station ( where the program will take place.

Contact Information:
Mrinalini Erkenswick Watsa


E-mail Address:

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