Costa Rica – Jaguar Conservation


Based in the Tortuguero National Park, assist in the protection of endangered Jaguars.

Assist in the protection of endangered Jaguars, whilst living and working in Costa Rica’s rainforest. Since the 1950’s the population of Jaguars within the Americas has plummeted from over 400,000 to an estimated 14,000 now.
During your stay, you will not only contribute to the preservation of the elusive jaguar, but you will join a team contributing to the development and management of long-term wildlife conservation efforts along Central America’s Caribbean coast.

You will be searching for signs of jaguars and their prey species, by setting up remote cameras and surveying a 16-mile stretch of turtle nesting beach. Relaying data to the Costa Rican government and other prominent conservation organisations, our team aids the conservation effort through monitoring and tracking on Costa Rica’s beautiful Caribbean coast in the Tortuguero National Park.

Even though jaguar related research activities will be a main part of your activities, during your time you will gain a holistic understanding of the Costa Rican rainforest and its ecosystem by conducting important research on turtles (seasonal) and aquatic birds. You will receive additional training across a wide variety of subjects and gain a plethora of skills that will help you further your ability to operate professionally in the field.

Through unique and hands-on training you will have the opportunity to understand the rainforest and the variety of wildlife that depend on it’s future.

Highlights include

Getting the chance to go on this unique adventure in a Costa Rican National Park
Enjoying life at the research station
Learning about the wildlife and their habitat
Exploring this wonderful Central American country
Seeing unique wildlife in marine and coastal rainforest environments including remote Caribbean beaches and tropical rainforest
Seeing endemic and protected species; joining the research team to undertake research inside a protected area

Project core activities

  • Jaguar dynamics and population studies
  • They use camera traps to identify individual jaguars present in the Jalova area and their feeding behaviours in relation to marine turtles
  • We are also collecting Jaguar scats (faeces) for feeding and genetic studies.
  • Volunteers will also take part in some of the other surveys carried out on base; this is dependent on the time of the year; but may include marine turtle, canal/shore bird, or amphibian monitoring, or general biodiversity/incidental sighting surveys, but will have priority in the Jaguar surveys
  • Volunteers get training on all species and surveys, so they go out on Forest biodiversity, birds, incidentals and turtle surveys.
  • Jaguar Conservation in Costa Rica
  • 24-hour emergency phone
  • 24-hour in-country support
  • Access to Alumni Services and Discounts
  • Airport pick-up (unless otherwise stated)
  • All necessary project equipment and materials
  • All necessary project training by experienced staff
  • Location orientation
  • Long term experienced staff
  • Meals while on project (except on work placements for long term internships)
  • Safe and basic accommodations (usually shared)
  • Welcome meeting

Jaguar Conservation in Costa Rica

2 WEEKS $2,085

4 WEEKS $2,865

Carrying out the programs activities on the beaches and forests in the area, you will live on our base at Jalova.

With Tortuguero’s amazing scenery, incredible beaches and through dawn patrols, spectacular sunrises as the backdrop, you will hone your research skills collecting important data.

Through the processing, analysis, and recording of data, you will also get to grips with the technical aspects of field based research.

Making lifelong friends, and invaluable contacts in the research world, you will live on our small but comfortable base with fellow volunteers, forging a tight-knit group experience you will never forget.

Project details

Habitat and food source degradation as a result of human activity are the major threats to jaguar populations. Through the correlation of jaguar prey species, jaguar feeding behaviour and population numbers, this project helps the Costa Rican Ministry of Environment to develop well rounded and consistent conservation policies.

You should also expect to be involved in further research projects according to the requirements on the ground at any time. This could include marine turtle monitoring (March – October) of nesting green, leatherback and hawksbills sea turtles; or bird monitoring and the research of 30 key aquatic species to collect long-term seasonal trend data on resident and migratory birds.

Due to the fact that we are working in a National Park, we need to have a special scientific permit to conduct research so you will be asked for some papers to be able to process it. It is a fairly simple process.

All of our programs have short, mid and long-term objectives that fit with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. This enables us to report on our collaborative impact across the world in a streamlined manner, measuring which UN SDGs we are making a substantial contribution to. Furthermore, this will help our local partners and communities measure and visualize their contribution to the UN SDGs.

Upon arrival to base, you will be educated about the history of the UN SDGs. You will learn about the specific goals of your location, the long-, mid- and short-term objectives, and also clarification of how your personal, shorter-term involvement contributes to these goals on a global level.

Our aim is to educate you on local and global issues, so that you continue to act as active global citizens after your program, helping to fulfill our mission of building a global network of people united by their passion to make a difference.

1. Increase scientific knowledge of Tortuguero National Park
2. Increase awareness of our Jalova projects and the ecological value of the Tortuguero National Park
3. Build local capacity to support long-term conservation of biodiversity and sustainable community development in Costa Rica
4. Continue to minimize our environmental impact on Tortuguero National Park and raise awareness of environmental issues amongst volunteers and visitors

Our data goes out to national and international organisations, is presented at international conferences, and is used in species and area management policy development.

Our works with local partners such as Coastal Jaguar Conservation and Panthera.

Jaguar conservation efforts have been successful in recording new and useful data about jaguars and their habitats that is being used worldwide to restore declining jaguar populations.

Our data goes out to national and international organisations, is presented at international conferences, and is used in species and area management policy development.

Jaguar conservation efforts have been successful in recording new and useful data about jaguars and their habitats that is being used worldwide to restore declining jaguar populations.

Testimonial

Kim Packard (Australia)

It’s every big cat lovers dream to be able to capture a glimpse of the elusive jaguar, and being here gets you so close to realizing that dream. The excitement of setting up jag cams, being able to ID these cats and witness new behaviours is truly addictive. Knowing these amazing cats are thriving here gives hope for future conservation.

 

Exploration (Fun stuff)

Volunteering with us not only allows you to participate on programs assisting disadvantaged communities or endangered ecosystems but it also offers wonderful opportunities to travel in the local area in your down time or further afield either before or after your program. Many decide to travel after volunteering, solidifying the lifetime friendships established on program.

Our long term field staff are a great source of advice and are here to help you make the most of your time abroad. Remember to ask about discounts on local activities and side trips through your association with our program partners. Our Jalova field teams have helped us put together the following information on trips and travel options in Costa Rica!

Details

Start Dates:
Specific Saturdays

Durations:
2 – 12 weeks

Capacity:
7

Location:
Jalova