Poaching, logging, and burning destroyed the fragile ecosystem of today’s Majete Wildlife Reserve in Southeast Africa. Join us in Malawi to study its ongoing recovery. Track animals, assess the predator-prey relationship, study diet preferences, identify and map plants, and set camera traps to film rare animals! Your work will help answer critical questions about animal reintroduction and land restoration.
What to Expect?
Majete Wildlife Reserve in Malawi, once nearly devoid of animal life, is now home to lions, rhinos, elephants and many other species. Help track, monitor, and observe the park's wildlife as part of a team focused on maintaining and managing Majete as a sustainable protected area. Poaching at Majete Wildlife Reserve (MWR) was rife in the 1980 & 90’s, and by 2000 most species, including elephant and rhinos, had been eliminated, or reduced to very low numbers.
In March 2003, African Parks Majete began rehabilitating the park, re-introducing a total of 2,554 animals of 14 species including leopard, elephant, buffalo, black rhino, sable antelope and eland. Almost 10 years later, changes in animal numbers and vegetation brought about by the rehabilitation program now require monitoring and measuring. As an Earthwatch volunteer, you will spend the majority of each day in the park, taking a hands-on role in observing and working with the animals of Majete.
You’ll start your Expedition receiving training in radio and satellite tracking, GPS tracking, camera trapping, fixed-point photography, spoor identification, tree and vegetation identification, game capture (if required), basic bush survival and first-aid techniques. In the field, you’ll be actively involved in tracking of elephant, rhinos, lions and leopard via VHF receivers or satellite, either from a vehicle or on foot. You’ll assist with vegetation transects, dung collecting and vegetation “back-tracking” for elephant, buffalo and antelope habitat and diet study.
Additionally, you will help make observations with regards to reproductive success of the various species. Dry season animal counts will keep both staff and volunteers extremely busy. Throughout all field trips, volunteers will observe and record all aspects of animal behavior. Back at camp, you’ll help process and sort photographs for ID assessments, and build a photographic library for the reserve. Volunteers can help with data entry and analysis, or assist with the satellite telemetry and remote sensing aspects of the research program.
Volunteers will also have the opportunity to visit a local school and may be asked to assist with presentations or to help develop interactive games and conservation learning tools.
- Program ID: # 1932
- duration: 1 to 2 Weeks
- location: Majete Wildlife Reserve BlantyreMalawi15° 55' 41.6604" S, 34° 34' 29.9568" EMW
- Fitness level: Light ImpactModerately FitVery Fit
- Closest Airport: Blantyre (BLZ)
- Costs From: Over $3000
- Program Type: Environmental & Wildlife Programs
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