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Volunteer field assistant for study of wild chimpanzees in Comoé National Park, Ivory Coast

Hiring Organization:
Comoe Chimpanzee Conservation Project

Date Posted:

Position Description:
We are looking for volunteers to help with the field work, local teams' coordination, data and samples collection and data entry in our project to study and protect the wild chimpanzees of Comoé National Park, in Ivory Coast.
Comoé National Park is one of the largest in the World, with 11,500 km2 of savanna-woodland mosaic. Chimpanzees were supposed to be extinct in the park until our project rediscovered them in October 2014. Presently, we are working to know the status and distribution of wild chimpanzees across the whole park, but we mainly focus in the study of 3 neighboring groups around the Comoé Research Station that German University of Würzburg has in the park.
These are non-habituated chimpanzees, so we study them using camera traps, transects and etho-archaeological methods, avoiding close contact. We are working in collaboration with local managers of the park to improve the conditions for conservation of chimpanzees and their hábitats, with the perspective of a long term project.
We have started habituating one of the groups jus a few months ago, so the volunteer will also participate in the preliminary phases of this lengthy process.
The volunteer will stay mainly in the field, in camps with tents in the core of chimpanzees' home ranges, working with small teams of local assistants, in the wild, enduring very basic living conditions and long marches.
During weekends, volunteer will stay at the Comoé Research Station, resting and entering data in a comfortable bungalow with full access to electricity, current wáter and internet.
Once per month, the volunteer will have the chance to go to the closest town for shopping and resting.
As a result of this job, volunteer will get a complete formation in field methodologies for primatological study.

We are looking for responsible mature volunteers able to work in small teams with people of very different culture. At least basic knowledge of French is mandatory.
We will consider preferently applicants with a degree in biology, anthropology or environmental sciences, although we can consider applicants with different backgrounds depending on their experience.
Experience in field work with international teams, experience in Africa and experience in similar projects will be major assets.
Volunteer must be able to endure simple living conditions in the middle of the wilderness, camping and staying away from civilization for long periods in a multicultural environment. The volunteer should be able to walk long distances across savanna and forest in harsh climatic conditions and work during long periods.

This is a volunteer non funded position. Volunteers will need to pay for their travel and expenses during their stay. Volunteers will get all the needed vaccination before travelling, including at least yellow fever and hepatitis, antimalarial treatment and a visa covering their stay.

Support provided for internship/volunteer positions (travel, meals, lodging):
Volunteer will cover all travel expenses, buying a flight ticket with open return date. During the time in the park, will cover meals and lodging expenses. 400 euros per month (480 American dollars per month) will cover all the expenses both in the field and in the Research Station, including 3 meals per day, lodging, work travels within the park and internet use.

Term of Appointment:
A minimum of 2 months of commitment is mandatory, but we accept longer stays.

Application Deadline:
Rolling. Applicants must send a 1 page CV and a short motivation letter includying 2 reference email adresses from managers of projects in which they participated. to the email adress below.

Contact Information:
Juan Lapuente
Comoe Research Station
Comoe National Park, none
Cote d'Ivoire

Telephone Number:
0033 970 73 52 06


E-mail Address:

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