WHAT DOES THE PROJECT DO?
Eastern Kenya contains some of the world’s most famous national parks, which form one enormous wildlife corridor stretching from the Shimba Hills near Mombasa, through Tsavo West, Aboseli, the Maasai Mara and across into the Tanzanian Serengeti. This corridor is hugely important for the migration of big game and many populations of species such as elephants still travel along it every year. But they are under threat. Parts of the corridor lie outside the national parks and here the land is not protected or managed and local communities strive to survive on it by farming. The project is located in one such area, Amboseli. To the people who farm here, animals such as elephants and rhinos are often a destructive presence on their land, trampling precious crops and threatening their livelihoods. Addressing this human-wildlife conflict will be an important step in ensuring that the wildlife corridor stays intact and that the area’s fragile ecosystem has a future.
Collecting baseline data on the species that inhabit it will help local people and organisations to develop strategies to protect it.
By joining this project you will be making an important contribution towards securing the future of the region’s wildlife and the ecosystems and habitats that it depends on for survival.
WHAT WILL I BE DOING?
The work will be interesting, challenging and exciting and will contribute towards important efforts to monitor and conserve the area.
Whilst monitoring the elephants you will move around the region visiting local villages, hike some of the local mountain ranges and take part in a range of conservation activities. To a degree there is some flexibility in what you can do but this is at the discretion of the project managers.
The research programme is run in association with a local conservation organisation. The aim of the project is to provide local community stakeholders and government bodies with scientifically valid information, which will be essential for developing strategies to ensure the future protection of this important ecosystem. Local people in the area are already keen to conserve their natural heritage and the project aims to support them in doing this.
As part of your project work you will survey and monitor threatened animal populations, such as elephants, on community lands where they are not protected. You will also get to know the local community as you conduct habitat and human population surveys to help understand the way in which the two interact. By engaging with local people you help to investigate how a balance can be found that will allow animals and local communities to live in harmony.
Specific activities you might be involved with could include tracking and monitoring animals, identifying individual animals and numbers present, collating data, updating reports, and interviewing local people. You’ll also help to compile species inventories by carrying out extensive surveys of other large mammals in the areas surrounding villages and in the nearby forests and woodland refuges.
If this is your first time doing field research and conservation work, don't worry! It will take only a short while for you to feel at home and confident with your grasp of the scientific techniques. The work is intense and challenging but you'll get immense satisfaction from it and from having made a valuable contribution to the conservation of this important ecosystem. You will return home with new friends and a wealth of incredible memories from the experience of a lifetime!
You'll find your team to be committed, fun and dynamic, comprising a mix of ages and experiences, with members who all share a passion for travelling in developing countries and saving endangered wildlife and habitats. Your staff will be passionate, friendly individuals who are highly experienced in their field.
What Next? Apply Now!