Rainforest conservation

Project name:

CREES

Project purpose:

Rainforest conservation (butterfly, macaw)

Project activities:

  • animal interaction

  • animal rehabilitation

  • community awareness

  • data/collection analysis

  • habitat restoration/management

Terrestrial

Peru

South America

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Weekly cost (approx USD):

$

800

Direct benefits you gain:

  • cultural integration

  • data/statistical skills

  • field research skills

  • remote scenic location

Noteworthy conservation points:

Accommodation:

Shared accommodation in rainforest

Requirements:

Facilities:

accommodation included, food included, electricity, refillable drinking water,

Details of the day-to-day life on the project:

Monday: Butterfly surveys

You wake up at 6am to the calls of charismatic macaws and mischievous monkeys. After a typical Peruvian breakfast, you set out with your team leader into the rainforest to survey the immense diversity of Amazonian butterflies. You learn to handle, identify and record the butterflies’ data to help our researchers better understand the health of the ecosystem - it’s amazing what you can learn from these beautiful creatures. This is citizen science in action. After a busy day trekking through the rainforest to complete the surveys, it's time to head back camp and catch up on the day's gossip over a communal dinner before an early night.

Tuesday: Community action

You hop on the early morning boat to travel over to the small town of Salvación to help families with their biogardens – from fixing roofs, to planting saplings. Many children in the town suffer from malnutrition due to a lack of fresh vegetables, so the biogardens are essential for improving their health. The gardens are also a source of alternative income, as many families have begun selling their produce to improve their livelihoods. After a hot and sweaty day's work, you relax over a cold beer in the evening and feel a sense of accomplishment knowing that you and your team have helped a family that really needs your support.

Wednesday: Cultural experience

After a morning in the biogardens, you catch the boat back to camp to enjoy a communal lunch with everyone in the team. You spend the afternoon working with our researchers to identify species and record data, or help the kitchen and housekeeping staff around camp and enjoy getting to know the team better. After a hearty evening meal, you spend a fun-filled evening practising Spanish with our Peruvian staff – sharing stories to learn about different cultures and experiences that’ll expand your understanding and horizons.

Thursday: Macaw monitoring

You wake up before dawn and catch the boat down to the beach as the sun begins to rise over the Amazon rainforest and the distant snow-capped mountains. A spectacular way to start the day. Flocks of macaws and parrots begin to arrive at the clay lick by the beach, where they socialise and replenish minerals needed in their diet. You will learn how to identify different species and record various data, so that our researchers can better understand how these threatened species are being impacted by tourism and habitat loss. You hop back on the boat for breakfast and a day of trekking in the forest to complete surveys. Who knows what wildlife you might see today.

Friday: Night surveys

You spend the day at camp helping out the team on their projects or working in the biogarden. Tonight you'll head out on a survey after dark, hunting for amphibians and reptiles. Herpetofauna are a really understudied group, but they can tell us a lot about the health of their environment. Whether you find snakes or colourful tree frogs, you bring them back to camp to identify and record data to help expand knowledge on these amazing creatures. After a long day, you enjoy a hot shower and bed.

Saturday: Fun time

You spend the day trekking through the rainforest and enjoy getting to know the vast diversity of plants and wildlife by chatting to your knowledgeable team leader, as you work together to complete surveys and record data. You get back to camp for a hot shower and dinner, just before Saturday Night Fun kicks off. Every week, this is when the whole team lets loose with quirky home-grown entertainment. Over a few beers and a lot of laughter, you will start building friendships for life.

Sunday: Day off

You relax in a hammock with a good book, play football with the team, go for a dip in the streams, or just enjoy a good gossip with other volunteers. It's your Sunday in the remote Amazon rainforest: bask in the awe-inspiring beauty of your surroundings and simply enjoy every moment of it. It's an experience of a lifetime.

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