Jaguar in Manu
Peru: Field training for biologists in Latin America
Individual conservation biologists living in developing countries can have a huge impact in bringing conservation about and we need more of them. That is what this program is about.
Students in Latin America have few opportunities for field-based training that addresses important conservation issues. Leadership requires personnel with skill sets, experience, and fortitude — characteristics that are not readily acquired in university or other academic settings. Large conservation organizations and academic institutions are increasingly staffed by professionals who are well grounded in theory, but who have little experience in field conditions.
Actions & Results:
Participants in the 6-month training course held July-Dec. 2022 were biology undergrads or graduate students from Peru (3), Colombia (2), Mexico (2), and Italy (1). Most training took place at the Manu Biological Station, and visits were made to Los Amigos Biological Station, Wayqecha Biological Station, and Concesión para la Conservación Soqtapat. Training included:
- fieldwork and survival techniques
- GPS navigation and mapping
- citizen science apps like iNaturalist and eBird
- techniques in data management and statistical analysis, using locally gathered data
- biodiversity sampling strategies, specimen collection techniques, species identification, and experiment planning
- science communication
- fundamentals in tropical ecology, like population dynamics, niche ecology, and species competition theory
- rigors of living and working at a biological research station.
This program develops the capacity of the region, giving individuals the means to advance towards a career in field conservation. Over time, these cohorts of students will be part of an expanding network of alumni, who are then also able to mentor and train others.
Manu Biosphere Reserve in Southern Peru and other sites
Improving prospects for conservation by training the next generation of conservation biologists in Latin America.
Project Field Partner:
Alejandro Lopera Toro and Adrian Forsyth
2023 budget: US$115,500
Cost to ICFC (2022): $61,646
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