Your team will explore protected and unprotected lands in search of wildlife, particularly brown hyenas and other scavengers, species that are critically important to the ecosystem. Depending on the research site, you’ll conduct wildlife surveys on foot or from vehicles, looking not only for the hyenas and jackals themselves but also for their tracks, droppings, feeding sites, dens, and other signs.
You’ll help to camera trap to discover what carnivores live in different habitats. You’ll help trap and identify different species of the industrious dung beetle, some of the region’s most beautiful insects, ranging in color from metallic iridescence to patterns that help them blend into their surroundings to inky black. You’ll also conduct predator population counts at night, including spotlight transects where you may also encounter lions, leopards, and other carnivores. (Many past volunteers report that this activity is one of the most thrilling field research experiences they’ve had.)
At the end of the team, after you have had time to develop your understanding of the project, you may assist in educational programs for schoolchildren either at the research site or on visits to schools. Small groups of volunteers may assist an experienced tracker to determine if poachers have entered the reserve overnight.
Note: Field conditions and research needs can lead to changes in the itinerary and activities. We appreciate your cooperation and understanding.