Amazon Rainforest Conservation Volunteer Projects in Peru
Our Conservation & Environment Project in Peru is based deep in the heart of the Amazon Rainforest. Volunteers stay at the 476 hectare Taricaya Ecological Reserve and take part in important research work. This project offers you the chance of a lifetime to visit and help preserve the most diverse ecosystem on the planet!
At Taricaya you will get to take part in exciting work, such as helping with Peru’s first official animal rescue centre. This has recently been recognised by the Peruvian government as the best and most effective of its kind in the whole country. You can also work on biodiversity studies into all types of flora and fauna. Taricaya has South America’s highest canopy walkway, a freshwater turtle project, and a pilot farm. Throughout your stay you will be supported by our team of expert staff.
You do not need previous experience to take part in this project. Volunteers are welcome on a gap year, a career break, for university research, or as part of a summer holiday. This project is perfect for anyone who is outgoing and has a passion for wildlife. You will get hands-on, practical work experience and learn about the incredible work that goes on at Taricaya.
Here you will find answers to the following questions:
What is my role on this Conservation & Environment project?
Volunteers on this project can get involved in a wide variety of activities, such as:
- Taking part in biodiversity studies and wildlife observations, including:
- Observing birds from a canopy platform.
- Studying mammals with motion-sensitive cameras.
- Researching reptiles, amphibians and butterflies.
- Working on an animal release program, including:
- Feeding the animals.
- Building and maintaining cages.
- Helping to grow crops such as coffee, cacao and chillies on a pilot farm.
- Helping staff with the butterfly and turtle breeding programmes.
- Working on trail maintenance.
Volunteers follow a timetable and normally work between 4 and 6 hours each day. Some of the work is seasonal and you will work on a variety of tasks during your time in Taricaya. Some morning tasks start early. There is also plenty of time in the evening to relax after work. You will normally rest during the middle of the day to avoid the midday heat!
The Projects Abroad staff at Taricaya give regular talks and presentations to the conservation volunteers. Our specialised staff will provide you with a valuable insight into topics relating to life in the jungle including animal behaviour, local eco-systems and topical issues relating to the world of conservation.
What are the aims of this Conservation & Environment project?
The main aim of this project is to help the local area recover from previous disturbances. We also want to have a positive impact on the ecosystems at the Taricaya reserve. Projects Abroad was officially awarded the Reserva Ecologicà Taricaya in 2004. We produce a technical report every year to demonstrate this impact and justify our work. The data for these reports comes directly from our volunteers’ daily observations.
Thanks to this work, Taricaya is increasingly recognised internationally as a research centre. It has contributed a number of important research papers at international conferences, especially in the field of ornithology.
Another aim is to help local people avoid potential damage to the environment. They help us with our conservation projects and we help them with their farming. We have a model farm which we use to pass on ideas and techniques to local farmers. We then support them - growing mahogany, coffee and cocoa along with livestock management and crop rotations. We hope that the new Trans-Amazon highway will also bring in tourists and make cash-crop production more profitable.
Releasing captive animals (such as exotic pets) into safe environments is another key part of our project. Taricaya has been officially appointed the first Animal Release Centre in this part of South America. We are pioneering this concept and have already released many animals back into their natural habitats.
Where will I live on this project?
All volunteers stay at the Taricaya Ecological Reserve, which is owned and run by Projects Abroad. Accommodation consists of basic 4-person wooden bungalows with private bathrooms. There is also a large kitchen and dining area, research laboratories, animal hospital and much more. We make sure that you will be well looked after even in the middle of the jungle!
The nearest town is Puerto Maldonado, around 2 hours away by boat. Volunteers have the option of visiting the town at weekends. Here you will find hotels, bars, shops and internet access. This is also where volunteers are picked up from the airport when they arrive.
You can join the Conservation & Environment project in Peru for two or three weeks if you don't have time to join us for four weeks or more. This project has been selected by our local colleagues as being suitable for short term volunteering for both the host community and the volunteer. Although you will gain a valuable cultural insight and work intensely on a variety of conservation activities please be aware that you may not be able to make the same impact as someone volunteering for a longer period. Volunteers joining the Conservation & Environment project for just two weeks should arrive at a weekend.
All volunteers on Teaching, Care, Community, Medicine & Healthcare, Sports or Spanish placements in Peru now have the opportunity to add a 1 Week Conservation Add-On to the end of their main placement.
If you have qualifications or experience in this field then we can make use of your skills. Read more about the opportunities for skilled volunteers in Peru.