Check out Ex Situ, our new online lecture series, by clicking here.

  • Overview
  • Objectives
  • Skills you gain
  • Costs to Consider
  • Site Conditions

This two-week project is based on a historic research ship moored in the Yarapa river and a field camp in an indigenous village on the Tahuayo river. The first day you will be having a series of lectures on Amazonian wildlife and and survey methods. You will then be rotating between a series of projects including boat-based surveys of pink and grey dolphin populations, gillnet and rod surveys of fish communities and point counts of macaws and wading birds. After dark you will venture out to assist with fishing bat, amphibian and caiman surveys. Foot-based surveys of the flooded forests and transitional forests include forest structure surveys, mist net surveys of understorey birds, butterfly surveys, terrestrial frog surveys, camera trap points for big cats, tapirs, peccary and other terrestrial mammals, and distance sampling for primate species and other arboreal mammals.

Peru - Amazonian Research Objectives

The primary study site is an area of seasonally flooded forest that connects the Pacaya-Samira National Reserve and the Tamshiyacu-Tahuayo Community Reserve. Surveys are conducted in the forest and white-water systems of the Lower Yarapa River from the confluence with the Amazon upriver towards its origin in the Ucayali river. A secondary field site extends from a base within an Amazonian community in the Tamshiyacu Tahuayo Community Reserve, surveying the black water system of the Tahuayo River and surrounding forests.

The overarching goal of this project is to help conserve the Peruvian Amazon through field research that provides the science base for biodiversity conservation. Community-based conservation dominates the landscape of the western Amazon with large community-based reserves, community co-managed reserves and indigenous territories covering 98,800km2. Opwall teams work closely with local communities, with particular areas of focus studying sustainable use of fish and bushmeat to support community management, and monitoring the recovery of endangered species such as giant river otter and jaguar populations.

The flooded forests (várzea) of this area are particularly susceptible to global climate change which appears to be increasing the frequency of extreme flooding events and low water periods. Research will be conducted into how wildlife and people have been impacted by recent historic floods and droughts, especially in the flooded forests where effects have been devastating for terrestrial mammals, such as tapir, peccaries, armadillos and large rodents. Opwall teams contribute to one of the most extensive datasets in the Amazon and this information, managed by our Peruvian partners Fund Amazonia, is showing the impact of climate change on a range of taxa and on the livelihoods of indigenous people. It is being used to inform management decisions for community reserves and protected areas, and policy decisions for conserving the Peruvian Amazon.

  • Attend lectures/workshops on Amazonian ecology and conservation
  • Learn survey methods to sample fish, dolphins, wading birds, macaws, parrots and parakeets, understorey birds, bats, butterflies, caimans, amphibians, large mammals and game birds
  • Visit a local indigenous village and gain first-hand experience of Amazonian culture
  • Work with local Peruvian staff and try out some basic Spanish
  • Visit a manatee rescue centre and learn more about grassroot conservation programmes
  • Opwall fee
  • International flights in and out of Iquitos.
  • Internal travel – travel costs to and from the airport, overnight stays in Iquitos before and after the expedition, and transfers to and from the field site. This costs around £143 or $207 on average, with additional nights’ accommodation in Iquitos costing around £23 or $33.
  • Community fee – £22 or $32.
  • Vaccinations and prophylactic medicines – cost can vary depending on your healthcare provider.
  • All prices in GBP or USD unless specified.
  • Visa* (Not required for most nationalities, but click here to check)
  • Additional spending money (in Peruvian Soles)

Most of our volunteers fundraise for their expedition costs. Find out more.

Climate
In this area of Peru, the temperature varies very little, averaging between 25 and 35 degrees Celsius (70 and 90 Fahrenheit). The humidity is, as standard, over 95%, which can make it feel quite hot and sticky. During the evenings, the temperature drops and it can feel much cooler, but it tends not to drop below around 20 degrees.

Fitness level required
Medium. This is terrestrial-based project so you will be in the forest for many of your surveys. There are no hills and you will be on marked transects but the terrain can be extremely muddy and quite uneven, which can be made more challenging by the heat and humidity.

Creature comforts
Facilities in Peru are aboard a research boat at the main site and in traditional forest lodging at the satellite site (university students only). At both sites you will sleep in bunkbeds in dormitory-style rooms, and bathrooms are also shared, with bucket-flushed toilets and cold showers. It is unlikely that you will have any cell phone signal or wi-fi.

Locations

  • Peru
  • Rio Amazonas and the historical river boats
  • Community Lodging

Want to get involved with this project?

Preparation

Want to get involved with this project?

   Latest from our blog

  • Jungle, Mud, Caimans and a PhD: Why I decided to ...

    Posted on 10th December 2019
    Written by and photos courtesy of Frederico M. Barroso While most young children soon outgrow their “dinosaur phase”, it is safe to say that I never quite did so. Grown on a healthy diet of abundant outdoor play sprinkled with ad libitum...
    Read more...
  • Peru – Geology Rocks, but Biology is Life

    Posted on 21st September 2018
    Written by and photos courtesy of Kathryn Christinsen This summer I spent nearly three weeks in Peru on the Pacaya – Samiria National Reserve helping biologists collect data through surveys. With no exaggeration, I can say it was simply indescribable and eye-opening....
    Read more...
  • Peru – Hip-hop hooray

    Posted on 10th November 2017
    Written by and Photos Courtesy of Emily Tees Cover Photo Courtesy of  Mark Bowler This summer I had the utmost pleasure of spending almost three weeks in the Peruvian Amazon with other Southridge students on a biology trip. While in Peru, we...
    Read more...
Wallace House, Old Bolingbroke, Spilsby, Lincolnshire PE23 4EX, UK
| +44 (0) 1790 763194 | info@opwall.com