Wildlife Research Internship in Ecuador

Gain practical scientific research experience helping to protect the Cloud forest

This is a fantastic opportunity for budding young biologists to get ahead whilst making a valuable contribution to the furtherment of cloud forest conservation. Travel to the Cloud Forest and gain scientific research experience studying endemic species of flora and fauna.

This organization conducts important research on ecosystems, flora, and fauna of the Cloud forest. This research is used to implement conservation strategies, to measure the impact of climate change, find solutions, and inform their community educational programs. They are based in La Hesperia Cloud Forest Reserve on the western slope of the Ecuadorian Andes, a site of unique significance to conservation science, where two of the five biodiversity regions of South America converge. Their mission is to devise and promote alternative and innovative models of development in Ecuador, whilst expanding global knowledge of rainforest conservation.

As an intern, you’ll play a crucial role in maintaining and developing their ongoing research projects. For instance, they are currently running a feline monitoring program where interns are responsible for setting camera traps, retrieving them, then processing and analyzing the data. This is an ideal program for biology students as this data could easily be used towards your own university research. They’re also open to interns proposing their own projects.


The Tangaré Foundation works to protect the Cloud forest and its wildlife through a combination of research, natural resource management, and environmental education. Based in the La Hesperia Cloud Forest Reserve on the western slope of the Ecuadorian Andes, they work to promote alternative, sustainable models of development in the area.

They achieve this by researching and monitoring flora and fauna in the region, using their findings to develop sustainable methods of land use and natural resource management, then teaching these practices to local communities.

Active since 2009, the organization has already made a significant impact. Their research has helped to identify and protect important habitats for threatened species, such as the Ecuadorian white-fronted capuchin monkey and felines such as puma, ocelot and oncilla. They’ve reduced deforestation by promoting sustainable agriculture and forest management practices. Their educational programs have trained over 1,000 in environmental education and conservation. They are a valuable asset to Ecuador and the region, and its work is essential to the future of the planet.


This organization runs all kinds of research projects, so the work interns get assigned depends on what’s going on when they turn up. At the moment, the organization is conducting long-term research on felines, and capuchins, in the past they have studied amphibians, fungi, and a variety of fauna. As well as this, interns will have the chance to get involved with any number of the sustainability and permaculture projects happening on the reserve.

What you’ll do
  • Setting and retrieving camera traps around the reserve
  • Collecting, processing, and analyzing data gathered from camera traps
  • Corroborating findings with larger database of wider research
  • Maintaining and developing sustainability programs
  • Writing reports and helping with grant writing
  • Assisting with eco-conservation workshops and community outreach
  • Creating visual and written content
  • Getting involved with community conservation projects
  • Studying towards or completed a Bachelor’s degree in biology, conservation, or related field
  • Excellent attention to detail and analytical skills
  • Prior research or data-processing experience is a bonus
  • Basic level of Spanish
  • Ability to work well independently and as part of a team
  • A passion for conservation in a nonprofit context
  • Minimum stay of 8 weeks


You’ll stay at a dedicated volunteer house with rooms ranging in sizes of 2-6 people, shared bathrooms, and a selection of communal spaces. Excitingly, this volunteer house is located in the heart of the 800 hectare La Hesperia Cloud Forest Reserve.

This is a site of unique importance to Cloud Forest conservation. It is where two of the five biodiversity hotspots in South America converge: the Tropical Andes and the Chocó-Darien. The area has a huge species diversity with a large number of endemic species. It is also a site of an array of sustainable farming practices, including: permaculture garlic farms, chocolate production, coffee production and organic livestock farming.


Internships always start on Monday, so no arrival over the weekend, always on Monday.

What you’ll pay (2023 rates)

Placement fee USD 600

What you are paying for:
  • Careful matchmaking. It takes time to find the right internship for each person, and we take this process very seriously.
  • Initial interview with one of our team to gauge your skills, interests, and desired learning outcomes.
  • Accommodation based on a shared room (2-6 pax).
  • Three meals a day from Monday to Friday
  • Assistance with your visa arrangement & other preparations
  • Academic guidance and support
  • On the ground support during your stay
  • Regular check ins during your internship with you and your supervisor.
  • Access to free workshops with a focus on career development
  • Troubleshooting if needed
  • A reference letter at the end of your internship
  • Flights
  • Visa, medical and travel insurance costs for the duration of your placement – must include cover for repatriation
  • Transfers from Quito Airport to the reserve
  • Drinks, snacks, and items of personal nature (f.e. curios, gifts, clothing)
  • Costs for additional excursions or activities
Recinto La Esperie, Ecuador
Nature Conservation NGO
Education, Data capture & Analysis, Community Projects 
Min. 8 weeks
USD 600
  • Independently run conservation research projects
  • Gain in-field scientific research experience
  • Develop deep and expansive knowledge of rainforest conservation, eco-sustainability, and wildlife of the Cloud Forest
  • Live and work in the Ecuadorian Cloud Forest
  • Make a valuable contribution to the furtherment of conservation science
Placement fee: USD 600

See Detailed Rates



If you’re ready to apply for this internship, here’s what to do:


Fill in the application form (it will show in a new screen) which includes sharing your CV to us


We’ll set up a call with you to go through your application.


If we feel it’s a good match, we’ll set up a call between you and the supervisor for this internship.


If everyone’s happy, we’ll provisionally confirm your placement! We’ll then send you the invoice for the deposit, getting started with the booking process and all the info you need.


Only once we receive payment of the deposit your placement will be confirmed.


Or if you’d just like to ask us some questions about this internship first, just fill in the contact form below. We’ll be happy to assist!


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