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Volunteer Primate Behaviour Research Placement

Fundación Para La Tierra
Pilar, Paraguay (PY)
Closing date
Jan 31, 2023

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About Para La Tierra

Fundación Para La Tierra is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to the conservation of fragile habitats in Paraguay. Our vision is to change the course of Paraguayan environmentalism by inspiring people to appreciate the value of nature. We are working together with the Paraguayan government, local community members, national and international NGOs, and national and international volunteers and interns to protect Paraguay’s unique environment.

Para La Tierra achieves this mission through three primary programs: Scientific Research, Community Engagement, and Environmental Education.

Based in Paraguay, the ‘heart of South America,’ we are the country’s only year-round research station. Over the past 12 years, we have published over 130 peer-reviewed articles and discovered more than 10 new species. Along the way, over 500 students have helped contribute to the better understanding of Paraguay’s understudied habitats.


About the Primate Behaviour Research Placement:

Para La Tierra is searching for motivated and enthusiastic research students to join our team in Paraguay for 3 to 6 months. Our research placement program provides young biologists an opportunity to step out of the classroom and into the field, gaining hands-on experience running a research project of their own design. With its basis in Pilar, the centre of the Ñeembucú Wetland System, our research station offers an incredible opportunity to study the highly adaptable arboreal black and gold howler monkeys in a variety of different habitats, from riparian forests to the city parks.

As tropical forests continue to disappear, it is increasingly important to understand how wild animals can survive alongside human populations. Para La Tierra is interested in understanding how the primates are affected by the urban environment of the city of Pilar, how their behaviour varies from that of the groups located outside the city, and what can be done to better protect the wild animals from the negative effects of the near constant human-wildlife interaction. The focus of the study will be completely defined by the intern’s own interests. Previous students have studied: Parasitology, Human-Wildlife Interactions, Acoustic Behaviour, Social Structure, and Dietary Diversity.

Before arriving, students are challenged to come up with a research topic, review the relevant literature, and create a methodology with the support of our expert researchers. Once in-country, students are trained in the field techniques required for their project, collect independent data, and analyse their results. Towards the end of the stay, all our students give a final presentation in which they share the results of their study with the rest of the research team. The research placement program is designed to give young scientists the opportunity to take control of every step of a scientific project. From conception to completion, students are in the driver seat.

Design your own wildlife project and contribute to long-term research in Paraguay!



Applicants must be over 18 years old and have or be working towards a degree in a biology related subject. Conversational English is required.



Para La Tierra charges students to cover costs of room and board. The price includes all living costs during their stay with us and a personal pick-up upon arriving. Students receive three meals a day, unlimited coffee, tea, yerba mate and diluting juice, as well as a bed in shared accommodation with hot showers and access to WiFi. It also includes organized activities & trips for our students such as barbeques, game nights, beach trips and much more.

The fee further covers assistance with project development and execution, the use of PLT’s scientific equipment, transportation to field sites, administrative costs associated with the stay, and a small contribution to Para La Tierra's conservation and education projects.

Weekly basis pro rata payments are accepted in special cases. There is a 25% discount for South American nationals.

Costs: $1,195 per month for the 1st 2 months and $995 for each subsequent month.



Our students finish the program taking away a long list of newly learned skills, a professional reference, and one heck of an experience to share at their next interview. But they also leave behind a great deal. All of our student projects are directly involved in promoting the conservation of this threatened habitat. The scientific investigations of the area help raise awareness of the ecological importance of Ñeembucu at both the national and international levels. Our projects are regularly published in scientific journals, further raising the profile of Paraguay, and many students make their way onto the author line for the first time in their early careers through their work with Para La Tierra.



The application period is rolling and there are no start or end dates, so the trip can be organized to suit the project and the person. Students must be available to stay for a minimum of three months.

To apply please email your CV and a short cover letter to olivia@paralatierra[dot]org.


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