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Ornithology Exchange
  • Macaw Conservation Volunteer

    • Employer: Macaw Recovery Network
      Location: Punta Islita
      Country: Costa Rica
      Last Date to Apply: 06/30/2021
      Open Until Filled: No

    Macaw populations have declined significantly over the past decades. The main causes are illegal poaching for the pet trade and the loss of mature forest habitat, which they rely on for feeding and nesting. MRN's vision is to see a future with thriving parrot populations in healthy, connected forests, across their former ranges. MRN’s breeding center consists of over 80 rescued non-releasable macaws, that through breeding and release of their offspring, can still contribute to the conservation of their wild relatives. Provided annually since 2016, the apprentice program has been put in place to be able to provide a high level of care for breeding pairs and their offspring, but also to function as a network of passing on our knowledge to future conservationists. 


    The applicant will be a care taker at our Macaw Breeding Center during the non-breeding season. After a training period, the applicant will be given responsibility to care for a group of Macaws. Depending on the successes of the previous breeding season this includes caring for offspring and preparing them for release into the wild.

    Volunteer Duties:

    •   Daily food preparation and feeding of captive breeding birds, pre-release birds and supplementary feeding of the released flock

    •  Regular site maintenance including aviary cleaning, providing perches and enrichment for captive birds and various other husbandry tasks

    •  Monitoring the health and behaviour of captive birds

    •  Different general maintenance or development tasks may be assigned depending on our current needs and the skills and abilities of particular volunteers


    No previous experience or academic background in Biology needed. However applicants with a background in biology/veterinary or carpentry/construction are preferred.


    The volunteer is expected to work 5.5 days a week. Monday to Friday from 5.30am until 5pm with a three-hour break and half a day in the weekend.

    Duration of Work:

    The minimum duration is one month with a maximum of 6 months. Only available from the beginning of July through the end of February. 

    Desirable personal Qualities:

    •  Dependable and responsible

    •  Motivated and positive with a desire to contribute

    •  Interested in bird- and nature conservation

    •  Flexible, friendly, patient and optimistic

    •  Sense of humor is helpful.

    Other Benefits:

    •   Great experience both in terms of travel and supporting a non-profit

    •   Increased understanding and appreciation of different values and lifestyles

    •   Increased skill in creative problem-solving

    •   Increased skill in team-communication 

    Anticipated costs:

    All international and nation travel costs to get to the site are your responsibility. Volunteers pay $300 per month for on-site accommodation and all utilities. Volunteers buy and prepare all their own food and we recommend you budget for at least $40 per week.

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