Lilongwe Wildlife Trust have been running a primate release programme for the last three years operating in Kasungu National Park, Malawi, Africa, and we are now offering the opportunity to join our team who are conducting observations and research on the release troop.
About the project…
Lilongwe Wildlife Trust works to release any animal possible and, although notoriously challenging, primate releases are amongst the most exciting. Our primate release project is currently operating out of Kasungu National Park where we released a troop of yellow baboons in January 2013, a troop of vervet monkeys in January 2014 and a second troop of yellow baboons in 2015. Primates are complex animals with sensitive social structures and therefore the entire troop was monitored very carefully for months prior to their release to assess their suitability.
The troop of yellow baboons released in 2015 are now living wild in Kasungu National Park and are being tracked and observed on a daily basis by our field team, who are collecting scientific data for research and publication purposes. The purpose of the project is to contribute to a body of fundamental research on the extent to which these animals are able to adapt to life in the wild and how their new found freedom contributes to their welfare compared to a life in captivity. With a successful history in primate releases, this is an incredibly exciting project to get involved in and learn about primate behaviour, releases and life in the field.
What you’ll be doing…
- Radio telemetry & GPS tracking
- Behavioural observations
- Lab based work such as data collection and data entry
- Learning about the surrounding plant and animal ecology
- Gaining field experience with an expert team
- Troop identification
- Habitat assessments
- Field transects
The team have been following the released baboons since January, making reports and collecting data. You will be with them every step of the way assisting in all aspects of the field work. There will be many technical aspects to learn as you monitor the troop through the park from dawn till dusk and assess their behaviour.
We hope to give everyone a great, worthwhile experience. Whatever your background, there is plenty you can contribute to a range of activities.
Kasungu National Park is home to the primate and carnivore programmes. It is a stunning setting with elephants, antelope, monkeys, zebra, buffalo and carnivores such as leopards and hyaenas. The camp is located at Lifupa Campsite, on the banks of the Lifupa Dam. It is rustic but very comfortable with canvas safari tents, equipped with beds, mattresses, linen, and solar power. Showers and toilets are located nearby. Volunteers share a IMG_9753large tent which can sleep up to four people, or smaller private tents may be available on request. Elephants regularly stop into camp to say hello and they can often be seen taking a dip in the dam.