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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 at ProCosara, San Rafael ?National Park?, in the Paraguayan Atlantic Forest where students will participate in a series of lectures including primate taxonomy, study design, primatology in Paraguay and Atlantic Forest conservation and learn a variety of data collection techniques 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 ten days are 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 environmental education for conservation. During this time 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 in both a poster session and oral presentation.

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:
$2295 for course tuition, 3 meals per day and afternoon snack, lodging at the Centro IDEAL and Procosara research transportation to and from Asuncion at the start and end of the course.

Airfares to Paraguay, travel insurance and vaccinations are not included.

Start + End Dates:
18th June - 9th July 2019

Application Deadline:
1st May 2019

Contact Information:
Karina Atkinson
Centro IDEAL
Pilar, Ñeembucu Ñeembucu

Telephone Number:


E-Mail Address:

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