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Field Methods in Primatology - Paraguay

Educational Organization:
Fundación Para La Tierra

Date Posted:

Program Description:
Paraguay is often overlooked in terms of conservation and scientific research. Fundación Para La Tierra (PLT) is a conservation NGO focused on the conservation of Paraguay?s endangered habitats through scientific research, education and community engagement. PLT runs the country?s only long-term primate research project. The Field Methods in Primatology course is an intensive introduction to field primatology with particular focus on the hooded capuchin (Sapajus cay) in the Paraguayan Atlantic Forest and the black-&-gold howler monkey (Alouatta caraya) the humid Chaco and in a city environment. The course offers budding primatologists the perfect opportunity to gain hands-on experience of a range of field techniques in very different environments.

The course is led by PLT?s primatologist Rebecca Smith. Rebecca is the only professional primatologist in Paraguay and is a PhD candidate with the University of Aberdeen. She has worked with primates in captive and wild settings in four countries and has studied the hooded capuchin in the Paraguayan Atlantic Forest for the past 5 years.

The course introduces students to primatology through lectures, field exercises, discussion groups, active participation in Paraguay?s only long-term primate field study and independent research. The course begins in the city of Pilar in Para La Tierra?s Centro IDEAL base. Students will participate in a series of lectures including primate taxonomy, study design, primatology in Paraguay and Atlantic Forest conservation. Students will be introduced to Pilar?s urban howler monkey population and learn a variety of data collection techniques. At ProCosara, San Rafael ?National Park?, in the Paraguayan Atlantic Forest students will participate in the long-term capuchin research project while learning field skills including, but not limited to, camera trapping, VHF telemetry and primate habituation techniques. The final week is spent in Pilar and will include lecture and practical work relating to distance sampling and census methods, non-invasive biological sample collection, parasite analysis and social network analysis. During the final four days students will plan and carry out their own study on the urban howler monkeys, collecting at least 20 hours of data before presenting their results to the group.

Entrance Qualifications:

This course is perfect for undergraduates who are thinking about a career in primatology, tropical conservation or studying animal behaviour. You must have or be working towards a degree in a biology-related subject and be at least 18 years old.

For more information and to apply send your CV and a cover letter to

Tuition / Fees:
$2095 for course tuition, 3 meals per day and afternoon snack, lodging at the Centro IDEAL and Procosara research stations and transportation to ProCosara from Pilar. Airfares to Paraguay, travel insurance and vaccinations are not included.

If you book before April 1st 2018 you can take advantage of our Early Bird Price of $2545.

Start + End Dates:
7th 28th October 2018 - Students must arrive in Asunción by October 6th 2018.

Application Deadline:
1st September 2018

Contact Information:
Karina Atkinson
Centro IDEAL
Pilar, Ñeembucu Ñeembucu

Telephone Number:


E-Mail Address:

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