Throughout their stay, interns will shadow and assist ALERT’s Research Technicians in all aspects of their work, which could include:
Behavioural observation of lions in stage two of ALERT’s African Lion Rehabilitation and Release into the Wild Program to collect data on group dynamics and social interactions, territorial behaviours and hunting skills.
Observation of play behaviour in younger cubs - ankle-tapping, stalking, chasing and fighting; all needed for the development of successful hunting skills. By observing our stage one lions engaging in various forms of play, we can establish if they are behaving in a similar way to those growing up in the wild.
The Zambezi National Park Hyena Project to monitor spotted hyena populations and collect data on population size, dynamics, recruitment, home-range, prey preference and contact with livestock, as well as the interaction between the species and wild lions.
Predator surveys to inform species conservation management plans through studies to determine distribution and behaviour. As human-wildlife conflict (HWC) issues are widespread across Africa, data collection is also carried out to assist with on-going mitigation methods.
Biodiversity studies to monitor the diversity of wildlife within Africa’s national parks. Data is collected to help calculate species density and abundance, so that sound conservation management plans can be developed and implemented to safeguard biodiversity loss.
Forest management programs to study how communities are interacting with their environment in order to reduce rampant deforestation, which is having a negative effect on biodiversity and food security.
Biological monitoring programs to identify and understand vegetation types; crucial for effective habitat management and the eradication of destructive Invasive alien plant species (IAPS).
Entomology surveys to determine species richness and functional diversity with the aim of achieving and maintaining healthy ecosystems. As a dominant force in the biodiversity of forest fauna, the need to take insects into account when managing natural ecosystems cannot be overemphasised.
Of course all this data needs to be inputted, so some data entry is a necessary part of the role of a Wildlife Conservation Research intern.
Please be aware that Research programs vary from site to site, some operate at certain times of year only and all are subject to change.
If you are looking to use data collected during your stay at the program for a university course or thesis, please refer to ALERT’s Facilitated Research Program instead.