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Job Type: volunteer position

Location: N/A

Posting Date: 2 Aug 14

Closing Date: 30 Sep 14

POSITION DESCRIPTION: Alouatta Sanctuary, located on a large peninsula known as Batipa near David, Panama provides a limited number of internship opportunities for those seeking first-hand experience in the fields of primate rehabilitation, tropical forest conservation, and environmental education. Alouatta Sanctuary is the only wildlife rehabilitation site in Panama currently specializing in the rehabilitation of primates with an emphasis on mantled howler monkeys. As such, it serves an important role in conserving animals critical to tropical forest ecosystems, and educating the public about primate biology and rainforest conservation. Successful applicants will participate in primate rehabilitation efforts, contribute to educational programs, assist with ongoing research projects, and support the day-to-day functioning of the facility. Training and experience is available in the fields of wildlife rehabilitation, environmental education, primate behavior and ecology, tropical forest biology, field sampling procedures, indigenous ethnobotany, indigenous outreach, indigenous tree production and data processing techniques (including GIS).

Interns are accepted on a rolling basis, and start dates are flexible. Interns must commit to at least a one-month stay, with longer stays preferred. We are currently accepting applications for the following time periods:

FALL: We have a few vacancies remaining for short-term interns (~1 month or more) in our Fall 2014 program. Contact us ASAP if interested!

Interns can participate on the following projects:

Primate Rehabilitation: Alouatta Sanctuary specializes in the rehabilitation of mantled howler monkeys. However, we also accept other mammals and birds in need of aid. Interns assist in the daily care of rehabilitated animals. In addition, interns participate in studies of the acquisition of naturalistic behaviors (feeding knowledge/substrate use) by rehabilitated infants, and monitor newly released individuals in order to document feeding preferences and interactions with free-ranging howler monkey groups.

Tropical Forest Conservation : Alouatta Sanctuary has been strategically reforested to form corridors between large intact primary forests and mangrove forest through agricultural areas. As a result, the area functions as critical wildlife habitat for a variety of species (mantled howler monkeys, white-faced capuchin monkeys, night monkeys, ocelots, jaguarondi, peccaries, coatis, and many others). Interns are needed to conduct wildlife censuses using line transects and remote camera traps, as well as to conduct behavioral observations of primate habitat-use. Opportunities may also be available to assist in further reforestation efforts and local community conservation programs.

Primate Bioacoustics: Vocalization studies not only provide a valuable window into an animal's behavior and ecology, they can also serve as a powerful conservation tool. Here at Alouatta Sanctuary, we study primate vocalizations in order to improve auditory survey methods and individual identification techniques, as well as to better understand vocalization context and meaning.

Indigenous Tree Nursery Project:
Work with local Ngobe-Bugle people to sustain our onsite indigenous tree nursery.

Indigenous Outreach:
Exchange and engage in different on-going projects to promote cultural revivals within Ngobe-Bugle tribe.

Urban Environmental Education:
Work with college students of OTEIMA University for on-going Urban Environmental Education projects. Current projects include "Parking Lots Produce Food"--an urban garden project where English majors work with Alouatta Biologists to educate local elementary children on basic benefits of urban gardening.

Zoological Enrichment:
Daily exercises for enclosed animals to promote mental, physical, and emotional stimulation.

For more information, view our website ( or search for 'Alouatta Sanctuary' on facebook.

SALARY/FUNDING: Interns will be provided with housing, but are unpaid and will be responsible for providing their own airfare to David as well as $850/mo in fees to cover training, accommodation and food. Accommodations are comfortable but rustic located on the ocean within the Gulf of Chiriqui (electricity and internet are provided during part of the day). We are located roughly 45 min from David, Panama, a modern city with all the amenities (an international airport, hospitals, supermarkets, hardware stores, movie theatres, etc). The sanctuary’s location also provides an excellent base to explore the best nature Panama has to offer (cloud forests, beaches, marine parks) during time off.

REQUIRED QUALIFICATIONS: All applicants must be physically fit, have excellent communication skills and the ability to work with people of all ages and from different cultures. Applicants must be able to provide proof of a negative TB test (Mantoux or x-ray) and Hepatitis (A & B) vaccinations, and must purchase current international health insurance while in Panama. Experience traveling to the tropics or living in remote conditions is a plus, as is coursework or work experience in primate ecology or environmental education.


Contact Information:

To apply, please send a short letter of interest, CV, and names/contact information for 3 references to or Be specific as to the start/end dates you would prefer, and your experience (if any) with wildlife, environmental science, or education.

Please mention "I found this on the SCB website..." if you make a contact as a result of seeing opportunities posted here.