ECOSARA mammal research volunteers will be involved in every aspect of the study of the biology, population dynamics and distribution of the mammal species recorded in San Rafael. Research volunteers will work as part of a small group overseen by a staff member on current research projects or for those that wish to develop their own projects, alone under the guidance of a staff member who will assist them to ensure that their results are both useful and productive. A file of suggested mammal research projects with detailed instructions is available for volunteers who wish to work alone and are looking for ideas on how to do so. Of course volunteers are able to switch between projects, just because you signed up as a bird volunteer doesnīt mean that you canīt also do some work with birds or reptiles if the fancy takes you!

We encourage
ECOSARA research volunteers to publish the results of their work and offer all the assistance necessary to those that wish to do so. For many volunteers the opportunity to see their name in print is something that is extremely appealing. Volunteers will be credited in any publication that uses data which they helped to gather. Volunteers who carry out their own projects will have an informal meeting each evening with staff members to discuss progress and will be expected to produce a brief report of their findings at the end of their stay.

We think that
ALL field observations are important and accurate note-taking is part of the daily routine of all volunteers. The study of mammals involves a certain amount of detective work. You will learn how to look for tracks and signs that indicate the presence of mammals eg footprints, dung, animal remains, walkways etc as well as more hi-tech methods of recording them such as camera traps and live capture. Daily observations and records will be logged into the San Rafael biodiversity database to keep tabs on mammal abundance. Volunteers with a knack for photography are always welcome, we are always looking to boost the photographic database of the parks fauna.  In the interests of making data accessible and open to all we collaborate with online database projects such as the FAUNA image gallery.

Some projects are ongoing throughout the year, other projects - for example work with bats and rodents - are more seasonal. If you have a specific project in mind that you would like to work on, check with us that it isnīt seasonal before confirming your dates!!

To give you an idea of the sort of work that mammal volunteers are involved with, here are some of the more popular projects:

Monitoring of "footprint traps" to estimate abundance and local mammal populations, including the making of "casts".
Daily behaviour of the resident troop of Brown Capuchin monkeys.
Daily behaviour of the resident herd of Capybara.
Population and behaviour of small felines.
Capture, description and measurement of "micro-mammals" (rodents and bats).
Captive behavioural and breeding studies of "micro-mammals"
Investigation of tracks and signs to gauge daily mammal movements.
Cranial and skeletal characteristics.
Recording and study of vocalisations, their significance, seasonality and usage.

You donīt need to have any scientific background to be an
ECOSARA mammal research volunteer, just enthusiasm, a sense of adventure and willingness to get your hands dirty!

Up for it?!

Click here to apply now!
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