Want to learn more about Neotropical large and small mammal species, mammal census techniques, and mammal field work? Want to spend time living and learning about the jungle in the beautiful country of Belize? Want to learn field ecology skills from professional wildlife biologists, and tracking skills from local hunters and trackers? Then this is the internship for you!

The goal of this internship is to give the student various experiences in tropical mammalian field studies that will aid the student in developing their skills for a variety of future education and employment opportunities. The main component of the project will be to work with Ecoranatutors and T.R.E.E.S staff in establishing a long-term mammal monitoring project (observational surveys through track counts and remote camera sensing techniques, capture-mark-recapture for small mammals). For applicants with a current rabies vaccination, this internship can be focused mainly on bat sampling and the intern will be trained in the capture, handling, and identification of bats using mist-nets and harp traps. These baseline data will contribute to future ecological studies on mammal diversity, movement and population abundance on the T.R.E.E.S property and elsewhere in the adjacent protected areas in the Maya Mountains. Ultimately these data will feed into Belize’s National Biodiversity Monitoring Program and the Central American Wildlife Biological Corridor project.

In addition to the survey work to be conducted at the T.R.E.E.S Research Center, the intern(s) will also have the opportunity to visit other mammal conservation projects in Belize and volunteer for a few days on them, including with the University of Belize/Panthera joint project working on the Central Belize Wildlife Corridor project. In working on this project the intern will have an opportunity to trap and capture various species of mammals to be fitted with radio-collars, and practice radio-tracking them.

 We are looking for interns who are independent yet willing to work in a team environment. Applicants should have a certain level of mammal identification and tracking skills and should be interested in improving their techniques for proper identification and survey methods applicable in the tropics. Applicants should have a desire for learning about the incredible biodiversity of Belize through systematic field surveys and data collection.

 Tasks

Learn tropical mammals by sight, sound, and signs in the Maya Mountains.
Learn and perform a variety of mammal surveys that will be most adequate to answer project questions, including: visual encounter track/scat surveys along transect lines, remote camera sensing techniques (baited and unbaited stations), small mammal trapping, bat mist-nettingand harp trapping, and capture-mark-recapture techniques.
Work with T.R.E.E.S researchers, international collaborators, and other interns on the development of protocol design and write protocols for continuing field work and data collection.
Implement protocols in the field using the help of T.R.E.E.S staff and Ecorana tutors to find the best places to set-up long-term monitoring locations for cameras, bat nets, and small mammal traps.
Be trained on use of GPS to navigate to and mark survey locations.
Share knowledge with locals and with other fields.
Learn to enter data in a systematic manner and compile it into a scientific report with introduction and literature review, methods, results (including basic statistical analysis), and discussion using peer-reviewed scientific articles.
Complete a short 4-5 page summary report that will help to establish future research protocols.
Depending on involvement in project, may have opportunity to collaborate on future publications.

Desired qualifications, physical requirements and work conditions, benefits, terms, fees, and application instructions can all be found here.

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