WORK CONTENT AND DESCRIPTION
The Rehabilitation Centre that you’ll work at is situated near La Cumbre, in Cordoba
Province. The Centre has been successfully running the monkey rehabilitation programme
for 22 years. The work of this project is absolutely vital in ensuring the monkey
population in Argentina does not decline any further. There are three key challenges
facing Howler Monkeys in Argentina at present, all of which are sadly contributing
to their decline:
- Their natural environment is declining at an alarming rate due to forestry and agricultural
- Poaching is widespread, with many baby monkeys being illegally separated from their
mothers and sold on as pets. It is estimated that, sadly, only one baby out of every
six that are captured survives.
- Out of the monkeys that are kept as pets, many are mistreated and eventually abandoned
– leaving them extremely vulnerable in the wild.
The project has three main aims – to rescue, rehabilitate and eventually release
the monkeys back into the wild, so that they are self-sufficient. They have successfully
reintroduced over 100 monkeys back into the wild to live a natural life in their
natural habitat. Some monkeys are unfortunately unable to be rehabilitated due to
their condition and, because of this, they are cared for permanently at the Centre.
You'll work on a range of tasks, depending on what’s required at the time. You’ll
generally split your time between practical activities involving the general care
of the monkeys, as well as research-based activities.
On arrival, you’ll be provided with an induction at the Centre, including
a video demonstration explaining the various activities that take place at the Centre.
On your first couple of days, you’ll most likely be paired up with another volunteer
who has already been working at the Centre, which will enable you to learn first-hand
about the work you’ll be doing.
Your work schedule may vary depending on the activities available at the site during
your programme. Work is generally available from Monday through to Sunday, from
9am to 6pm – with a 30 minute break
for lunch, but the project will arrange an individual work schedule with you on arrival.
The main activities that you’ll be involved with includes the following:
Feeding the Monkeys: the monkeys that are in the process of being
rehabilitated need constant care and attention, and a huge part of this involves
ensuring the monkeys are receiving the nutrients they need on a regular basis. Your
work will involve preparing the food for the monkeys, and feeding them at designated
times throughout the day.
Caring for the Orphaned Baby Monkeys: The unfortunate result of
baby monkeys being taken from their mothers at a young age means that they are not
nurtured and are unable to fend for themselves – so a big part of this project involves
providing the baby monkeys with the care
that they so desperately needed from their mother.
Data Collection: A lot of the work at the Centre involves observing
the species to monitor the success of the rehabilitation programme. For example,
you may be required to study the interaction of the free social groups, and record
this data. This data is vital in ensuring that the rehabilitation
programme has been successful and that the monkeys released in groups (also known as
‘troops’) will eventually be self-sufficient.
Monkey Capture: During your programme, you may have the opportunity
to assist with the rescue and capture of new monkeys in the surrounding forest.
Due to the unpredictable nature of new captures, it is uncertain how often this
will take place – but if it does, it’s an extremely
exciting element of the project!
Cleaning and Maintenance: You'll also assist with the cleaning
and upkeep of the Centre as a whole, which may include cleaning the enclosures and
the plates used to feed the monkeys.
Construction: You may at times be asked to assist with general
construction activities at the Centre, such as fixing enclosures or working on ways
to improve the various facilities at the Centre.
Working in the Tree Plantation for the Monkeys: Some work is required
in the tree plantation at the Centre, for instance by planting new trees that will
be used during the rehabilitation process (please note that this is available during
the winter-season only).
Care for Other Animals:
As well as monkeys, there are also a number of domestic and other wild animals that
you may be able to care for during your placement, including: dogs, cats, geese,
llama’s, donkeys, sheep, ducks, and chickens.