Wildlife Biology Field Training Program in Peru

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Information FPI

Dec 4, 2021, 12:08:15 PM12/4/21
to Primate-Programs

Field Projects International is currently accepting applications for our new Wildlife Biology Field Training Program. The program will be held at the Los Amigos Biological Station in the Madre de Dios department of Southeastern Peru, where we have conducted our research programs for more than a decade.

Enrollment is currently open for limited spots in four specialty tracks⁣. This year's specialty tracks reflect the growing diversity of our field studies, as well as our partnership in establishing a new in situ laboratory resource.

Specialty Tracks:

1.) Primate Monitoring

2.) Biodiversity and Wildlife Health

3.) Animal Movement and Spatial Ecology

4.) Conservation Genetics

While participants all work together to make the field season a success, those enrolled in a given specialty track will spend approximately 60% of their time engaged in the core activities of that particular project. The remaining 40% of the time is spent learning more general field skills that support all projects, as well as helping out other teams that need assistance. The goal is to offer a more well-rounded experience that will better prepare students for future field studies and research.

Program Start Dates:

May 29, 2022

June 19, 2022

July 10, 2022

 Note: There is a minimum 5-week commitment, with the possibility of adding more weeks.

Learn more and apply:


Enrollment Deadline:

April 1, 2022, or until all spots are filled

Skills and Training

Specialty 1: Primate Monitoring

  • Conduct a primate handling session including sample collection, morphometric monitoring, monitoring of animals under anesthesia, and safe release

  • Appropriately restrain and handle wild primates with proper technique and PPE

  • Record data on animal weight, TPRs (temperature, pulse and respiration), injuries, dentition, and much more.

  • Collect biological samples such as feces, urine, hair and blood from each animal

  • Construct and organize animal processing kits and in-situ animal processing tents

  • Determine sex and appropriate age of individuals by morphological characters

  • Identify primate species by sight and sound

  • Comfortably and safely work and navigate on and off trail systems in a Neotropical rainforest

  • Track primates by sight, sound, radio telemetry, and GPS devices

  • Conduct full-day behavioral follows of wild primates using focal, scan, and ad-libitum data sampling methods recorded on Animal Observer software

  • Clean and organize data for a relational database system

  • Organize and project spatial data in QGIS and Garmin BaseCamp

Specialty 2: Biodiversity and Wildlife Health

  • Field sampling for environmental DNA screening programs

  • GPS navigation training for off-trail navigation

  • Sample biobanking under field conditions

  • Species identification using morphometrics

  • Sample coordination during field anesthetizations of mid-sized mammals by veterinarians.

  • Best practices for personal safety and wellbeing while conducting field work in forest systems

  • Non-invasive sample collection

  • Animal tracking and safe capture-release techniques

  • Safe animal handling procedure focused on bats, small mammals, and birds, including a number of opportunities to participate directly in collection events

  • Sample collection, handling, labeling, and storage protocols, including the use of sterile technique to prevent self-contamination and preserve specimen integrity

  • Animal health data collection and data management

Specialty 3: Animal Movement and Spatial Ecology

  • Deployment and monitoring of smart traps for biosurveillance

  • Work on setup of CTT grid (tentative)

  • Assist in optimizing LoRa communication network

  • Gain familiarity with passive animal monitoring technology

  • Data pipeline development for sensor produced data

  • Daily expeditions into the rainforest for sensor deployment and checks

  • Presence at mark-recapture events where animals will be tagged with tracking devices

Specialty 4: Conservation Genetics

Participant experience very much depends on the laboratory’s work schedule, but is likely to include training in most --if not all-- of the following:

  • DNA/RNA extraction

  • PCR amplification

  • Gel electrophoresis

  • Library prep and indexing

  • Portable nanopore-based sequencing

  • DNA barcoding including submission to BOLD databases

  • Bioinformatics pipeline executions for field genomics

  • Methylmercury testing

  • Sample handling, labeling, and storage protocols, including the use of sterile technique to prevent self-contamination and preserve specimen integrity.

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