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  • Research Assistant, Costa Rica, 2 Months.

    Macaw Recovery Network
    • Employer: Macaw Recovery Network
      Location: Sarapiqui, Costa Rica
      Country: Costa Rica
      Last Date to Apply: 09/10/2022
      Open Until Filled: No

    A crucial food source for the critically endangered Great Green Macaw (Ara ambiguus): determining the presence of edge effects in the Titor tree (Sacoglottis trichoyna) and the importance of logging in these edge populations



    The great green macaw (Ara ambiguus) is listed as critically endangered by the IUCN. It is estimated that 76% of the subpopulation of northern Costa Rica has been lost in the last decade. The titor tree (Sacoglottis trichoyna) is one of the two main food sources for the great green macaw and is at risk of logging due to the hardness of its wood. It currently has no legal protection against logging and has received very little scientific attention. Forest edges are associated with increased tree mortality due to edge effects and increased logging pressure4. I will measure the tree densities of Titor per Ha and the diameter of the trees at different distances perpendicular to the edge of the forest. I will also measure factors associated with edge effect and logging pressure to determine the presence of edge effects and the importance of logging pressure for Titor populations. It is essential that we find out the causes of the decline of the Titor tree; its loss would result in the extinction of an iconic and majestic bird species.



    Investigate whether Titor tree populations are influenced by edge effects and logging pressure. I will analyze whether the density of Titor trees (number/ha) and the average diameter at breast height of Titor trees change with increasing distance from the edge. Additionally, I will measure edge effect factors including temperature, humidity, light intensity, storm damage, density of pioneer species, and number of tree stumps to analyze which factors explain the most variation. in density and diameter of the Titor tree at breast height. I will analyze the data by fitting linear regressions to Titor tree density and average diameter and breast height for each edge factor.



    I will initially mark eight 1-km transects perpendicular to the forest edge, spaced 500 m between transects to ensure independence at a field site owned by the Macaw Recover Network. I will establish sampling stations every 100 m along the transects. I will then sample Titor tree density, diameter at breast height, as well as edge effect factors including temperature, humidity, light intensity, storm damage, density of pioneer species, and number of tree stumps. trees within a radius of 30 m from the center of the station.


    I am hoping to carry out similar sampling in other field sites, however this will depend on getting permission from local landowners.


    What I need to carry out this work:

    I need someone to accompany me in the jungle, helping me with taking measurements The work will be demanding and tiring, so a high level of fitness is required. In addition, health insurance covering evacuation from forest in case of emergency is required, and a motorcycle license. It should be a very rewarding and interesting experience, helping with research that can be used to help the conservation of the critically endangered Great Green Macaw. $100 a week for food will be covered.


    *Food and accommodation are covered.



    2 months. From August 15th, 2022 until October 15th, 2022.


    Hours of work per day:

    Up to 10 hours a day five days a week.




    Accompanying me into rain forest, helping to measure transect distances, and collecting data such as trunk diameter and tree density.

    Will have opportunity to be carrying out hands on scientific data collection




    - Fit and hard working.

    -  Motorcycle license.

    - Able to spend full days carrying out field work deep in the rain forest.

    - Health insurance covering recovery from rain forest in event of medical emergency.

    - Relaxed with good sense of humor.

    - Desired to have a basic scientific background.



    Please send your resume at volunteer@macawrecoverynetwork.org


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