IPBio - Reserva Betary

Bioacoustics Researcher

Iporanga, Brazil show on map
Use sound recordings to understand species behavior, their distribution, habitat use and peak periods of activity. This volunteer program is especially suitable for:
Singles
Couples
Families
Groups

The Program

IPBio recently won the Wildlife Acoustics Scientific Product Grant and was donated bioacoustics hardware and software. The objective is to record species behavior, understand their distribution, habitat use and peak periods of activity. Moreover, we can combine the footage captured by our project “OBBIO-Observatory for Biodiversity” with high quality sound, which would allow us to construct a "sound bank" that can be used to, for example, compare the differences in sound between species and between individuals of the same species. By registering scientific data, we can analyze species well-being and use the data to take action as well as provide recommendations for conservation efforts of endangered Atlantic Forest species. We are looking for a volunteer who can lead this project which means setting up the bioacoustics hardware to collect data and analyzing the data recovered.

  • Identify how many vertebrate species occur inhabit in the Betary Reserve
  • Map species distribution on the reserve and in what/during period of the year
  • Observe the variation in/of species and long-term distribution, and understand the relationship between the distribution and ecological succession of the forest
  • Identify the reproductive period of these species, through sound, the recording of images of pregnant or females accompanied by cubs
  • Record the sounds emitted by the species and understand the relationship between the observed behavior and the type of vocalization
  • Disseminate this data to the scientific community and the general public
Living at IPBio

Volunteers will stay at the Darwin House, situated on the reserve itself, which accommodates up to 8 people in 2 rooms. This house has a bathroom with a hot shower and has a fully equipped kitchen where volunteers can cook. It is the volunteer’s responsibility to maintain and clean the house, we take this very seriously. Volunteers can use our organic vegetable and herb patch in their cuisine. Shops are in the town of Iporanga 6km away from the reserve, which you can walk or get a lift, where there are various shops with all you will need. Every day you will wake up to the sound of birds, monkeys and frogs and can explore the reserves grounds. During the weekend volunteers can visit the State Parks to explore the caves, hike into the dense forest surrounding them or visit the waterfalls. At the reserve we have a deck where you can swim as well as use our tubes (big circular water balloons) to drift down the river along with the current. Volunteers can also organize dinners, movie nights or social events which can be enjoyed with a glass of wine or two. You can use the internet at the Center to Skype loved ones. 

Location

The Atlantic Forest stretches from the northeastern to the southern regions of Brazil and northern Argentina and southeastern Paraguay. Five hundred years ago, the Atlantic Forest of Brazil covered approximately 330 million acres, but today only 7% remains. In the Ribeira Valley, our region of the Atlantic Forest, we are at the footsteps of 21% of the 7% that is left, it being largest contiguous section of the Atlantic Forest. Despite the forests diminished state it still ranks as a global conservation priority. Although it is now just a small fraction of the size of the Amazon rainforest, the Atlantic Forest still harbors a range of biological diversity similar to that of the Amazon. The Atlantic Forest harbors around 2,200 species of birds, mammals, reptiles and amphibians – 5% of the vertebrates on Earth. This includes nearly 200 bird species found nowhere else. The Betary Reserve is located next to one of the most famous Brazilian State Parks named PETAR. The region is called the Cave Capital as it known for containing over 300 spectacular caves, some which are accessible to tourists.  

Typical day

A typical working day will range from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm.

We are looking for a volunteer who can lead this project which means setting up the bioacoustics hardware to collect data and analyzing the data recovered. This means you will have to create a research plan in the first week of your stay. Once this is completed, you will hike to find a good location to place the recording equipment and set it up. It will need to be checked frequently and the data will need to be downloaded. You will then put them into the software, organize the data and depending on your research plan/topic you will need to use the software to analyze the data.

Free-time activities

  • - Caves: Iporanga is called “The Cave Capital of Brazil” with over 400 caves in the town. Below are just the highlights.

    •Casa da Pedra is the world’s largest cave entrance of 215 meters. The trip involves a 2-hour hike to the opening where there is a place to sit down and have a picnic and swim and then a hike back.

    •Temimina Cave has a large opening in the ceiling illuminating its oddly shaped diagonal garden. Then you enter into a dark cave where at the end you find a natural shower hole.

    •Nucleo Santana is a group of caves and is the most commonly visited as it has a wide range of different types of caves. In some caves you can swim.

    - Tubing/Boia Cross: is a sport where by you get on a big balloon and float down the river. There are various waterways you can do in Iporanga, some more radical and some in the big river which is very relaxing and can last 3 hours.

    - Cananeia: has various islands with dolphins swimming in between which are very easy to visualize. It is also known for its stunning beaches, awesome boat tours, great restaurants and the mangrove reserve where there are many crabs.

    - Waterfalls: Iporanga has many waterfalls. “Sem Fim” is a small waterfall walking distance from the reserve. “Vale das Ostras” has 12 large waterfalls in a row.

    - Quilombos: during the era of slavery many slaves would run away from the plantations and create settlements hidden in the forest. These communities live in relative isolation and you can visit their small towns. For some of the Quilombos the tours include travelling their by boat and having a traditional lunch at one of the families homes.

    - Social Events:

    •Dinners: there are many nice restaurants were volunteers can have dinner, some more classy like Casarao and some with traditional Brazilian food. There is also a great fish restaurant. Often volunteer will eat out on the weekends.

    •Town Parties: the are a couple of bars in town, some have pool tables and some have dancing areas. On holidays, there are usually town festivals on the streets.

    •BBQ: it is very common to have a BBQ on the weekend which is often accompanied with the traditional Brazilian drink called Caipirinha.

  • Water Sports
    Swimming
    Climbing
    Safari/Zoo
    Hiking
    Sports
    Riding
    Yoga/Meditation

    Program Requirements

    In order to join the program you need to be at least 18 years old on the program start date. There might be exemptions if you can provide the permission of your legal guardian(s) or if your are accompanied by your parents.
    Language Skills
    You need to speak English (intermediate level)
    Required Documents
    CV/Resume
    Nationality Restrictions
    No restrictions. Helping hands from all over the world are welcome.
    Other Skills
    Education in biology or related field and experience with bioacoustics would be a huge benefit. We need someone who is IT savvy to work with the complex software (Song Scope).We are willing to accept a non-biologist who is very interested, willing to learn and who would stay at least 3 months so they have time to train.You must speak either English or Portuguese at an intermediate level.
    Time Commitment
    Your helping hand will be required on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday from 09:00 - 17:00

    Included Services

    Extra security layer by Volunteer World
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    Quality Assurance
    High ethical standards & transparent social impact
    Flex Option
    Change your reservation at no extra costs
    Refund Guarantee
    We refund your fees if IPBio - Reserva Betary cancels your trip
    Support & Mediation
    We cover your back no matter what happens
    Our services are free of charge!
    All program fees are charged directly by IPBio - Reserva Betary.

    Before your journey

    Profound consulting and ongoing support (free)
    IPBio - Reserva Betary (your host organization) provides consulting and is keen to answer all your questions. Once you reserved your spot, you will receive the contact details of your volunteer project.
    Online preparation course (optional, from $49)
    Prepare yourself and become a confident and well informed traveler. Global Travel Academy takes you on a journey before you leave home, helping you to become one of the world's greatest travelers. Our trusted partner for online learning offers courses in "International Volunteering", "Travel Health & Safety" and "Travel Safety Abroad".

    On-site services

    Services by IPBio - Reserva Betary

    This covers your accommodation, full access to the reserve, internet access, project costs and the use of any equipment we have. Volunteers will pay for their own food and cook for themselves. Volunteers are also responsible for paying for any extra costs such as travel costs, visa costs etc. Volunteers are also responsible for covering their extra activities costs such as dinner out (without drinks) which ranges from 15 to 30 reais or PETAR State Park tour of caves (including a guide, equipment and entrance fee) which costs around 100 to 250 reais depending on how many volunteers go.

    Accommodation

    Volunteers will stay at the Darwin Guest House, situated on the reserve itself, which accommodates up to 14 people in 8 rooms. Two rooms are collective rooms and 6 rooms are single rooms. All rooms have air conditioning, closet space and electricity outlets. Individual rooms have a desk with a chair. The house has 4 bathrooms with hot showers, a washing machine and has a fully equipped kitchen where volunteers can cook. A cleaning lady provides basic cleaning services for public areas and will provide fresh bed linen once a week. However, it is also the volunteer’s responsibility to maintain and clean the house; we take this very seriously. Shops are located in the town of Iporanga 6km away from the reserve, which you can walk to or get a taxi, where there are various shops where you can by all the supplies you will need from groceries to toiletries. There is an organic small herb and vegetable patch volunteers can use in the gardens.

    Dorm Room Guesthouse Bedroom (Single) Bungalow Bedroom (Double)
    Internet Access
    Good access at the project site
    What's NOT included?
    Visa, flights, travel insurance or vaccinations are NOT included in the program fees. An airport pickup isn't included within the program fees either. Food, snacks or beverages are at extra costs.
    Flight Tickets
    The nearest airport is Sao Paulo-Guarulhos International Airport (GRU) in Sao Paulo. We assist you to find cheap flights to Brazil.
    Travel Insurance
    Going abroad is an adventure and it is always best to be prepared. Sudden illness or injury, cancellation or theft - a travel insurance for Brazil provides security and is a plus to have.
    Vaccines
    If you are intending to volunteer in Brazil you should seek medical advice before starting your social journey. Check your required vaccinations for Brazil.
    Costs: Prices in USD
    2 weeks (min. stay)
    $ 400
    4 weeks
    $ 800
    8 weeks
    $ 1,600
    12 weeks
    $ 2,400
    24 weeks
    $ 4,800
    50 weeks (max. stay)
    $ 10,000
    Average fees
    $ 200 /week

    You can volunteer at the project site in Iporanga/Brazil between 2 weeks and 50 weeks. Please note that the above shown program fees are estimated and subject to exchange rate fluctuations. IPBio - Reserva Betary will let you know about the final price during your application process.
    Crowdfunding Service
    Generally, volunteering abroad involves certain costs. In case you need financial support, we will assist you to fundraise your volunteer program in Brazil.
    Deposit (15%)
    The deposit is simply to reserve your volunteer placement. Payments are handled by PayPal, our trusted global payment provider. If you don't have a PayPal account, you can also pay using a credit card.
    Final Payment (85%)
    Your final payment will be agreed with IPBio - Reserva Betary during the application process. Common solutions are either via bank transfer or a cash payment at the project site.
      Americas South America Brazil  Iporanga, Estrada Iporanga – Apiaí, Km 6

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    Reservation
    The project site is open in: Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec

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