Internship Abroad Peru: Primate Communication
Discover the biodiversity of the Peruvian Amazon and acquire valuable expertise in the field of primate behaviour, their communication and space use. In detail this means that you will research the geographical distribution, the spatial use as well as the vocal and scent communication system of different tamarin species. Experienced scientists will be by your side at all times to pass on their valuable theoretical and practical expertise. This internship is an opportunity for nature lovers to gather international practical experience and get an up close and personal experience of the South American rainforest.
- Live and work as an intern in the midst of Peru's rainforest
- Gain new knowledge about the primates of the Amazon Basin
- Acquire skills in data collection and analysis
- Work together with people from all over the world
- Experience the biodiversity of the Amazon rainforest
Ready to grab your backpack?
If you would like to learn more about dates and fees for this trip we are happy to help you. Just drop us a message and we'll get back to you as soon as possible.
Chrissy, your travel agent for Peru
You are interested in joining this adventure? I am happy to help you! From the first steps until the end of the trip – I answer all of your questions and support you throughout your time abroad.
Your research internship in Peru
As an intern in this programme you discover the biodiversity of the Peruvian Amazon and acquire valuable expertise in the field of primate behaviour, their communication and space use.
Arrival and orientation in South America
After arriving at Puerto Maldonado International Airport, you will be collected by a member of staff and will be spending the first night in a hostel in the city. On the next day, you continue your journey to your new home and workplace, a research station that is located at the foot of the Southern Andes in the Amazon rainforest.
Topics of your internship abroad
The focus of this programme is set on researching the species saddleback and emperor tamarins as well as their communication behaviour and their space use.
One part of this course deals with the research of the reproductive suppression. This surpression takes places due to a combination of hormones, scent and sight. In order to investigate this phenomenon in the wild, participants will follow and observe certain tamarin groups on half-day or day tours to document nonverbal forms of communication as well as their scent-marking.
Together with your group you will gather information about their marking behaviour, the morphology and development of their scent glands as well as about the hormone balance of adolescent animals. In addition to that, you will research the vocal system as another important form of their communication.
Another part of this course is the exploration of the habitat use of different tamarind groups with the help of radio telemetry. For the research work you will leave the project site early in the morning to explore the rainforest, track down the animals via telemetry and generate information about their geographic distribution as well as their habitat use by employing different methods of observation.
Accommodation in the Amazon rainforest
A research station, located in the midst of the Amazon rainforest, will be your workplace and new home during the programme. The station houses a laboratory, a classroom, a library, a dining room and two dormitories, where the programme participants are accommodated. The dormitories have bunk beds and shared bathrooms. You will be provided with breakfast, lunch and dinner during your stay at the research station and snacks are also available during your meals.
It is also possible that you will be staying one night in Puerto Maldonado after you have left the research station. During this stay in the hostel, you will be provided with breakfast but you will have to obtain your lunch and dinner yourself.
Leisure time in Peru
As you will have time for own activities in between we recommend you bring some movies, TV series and books. You can also borrow a book from the well-equipped library of the research station.
Arrival in Puerto Maldonado
Transfer to the research station
Primate Communication in Peru: A typical day
Last days in the internship and departure
“I found it particularly great to have the opportunity to gain an insight into each team’s work.”
“But not only did I adapt, I even learned to love it. I fell in love with the forest, the animals, and the green and for the first time I had the feeling that my work was contributing something valuable to the world. [...] I recommend this project to anyone who is looking for a special challenge, beautiful nature or professional prospects.”
“The feeling of striving for the same goal together with other volunteers and interns was indescribable, and the way we supported the turtles and worked together in a team was real fun”
“On Friday we then planted about 1500 local plants. Tasks like these are definitely fun: you can see the results of your work at the end of the day.”
1. Amazon Rainforest
About 13% of the approximately 5,500,000 km² Amazon rainforest is located in Peru. As in other countries in South America where the Amazon rainforest is found, the Amazon rainforest in Peru is a real biodiversity hotspot due to its many endemic animal and plant species.
The avifauna in particular is one of the richest in species worldwide. With over 1800 species, more birds live here than in Europe and North America together. But also large numbers of insects, reptiles and mammals can be found in the green depths and make the jungle of Peru an absolute must-see for all South American travellers and nature lovers.
Background of your internship in Peru
Peru’s natural environment is renowned for being diverse and untouched. It is home to a large number of rare and endemic mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians and insect species. The focus of this programme is set on researching the species saddleback and emperor tamarins as well as their communication behaviour and their space use.
Primates often use different visual, vocal and chemical signals to exchange information inter- and intraspecifically. One part of this course deals with the research of the reproductive suppression. All male primates of a group are significantly involved in caring for the offspring so that the reproductive system can be understood as a cooperative breeding. To make sure all males get involved in the breeding process and avoid competition, the dominant female has a suppressing influence on the ovulation of younger, inferior females in the group. Interns dedicate themselves to researching this phenomenon in the wild.
Data collection concerning space use of different primate groups can contribute to answering different questions like the one concerning their spatial distribution.
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