Sri Lankan Elephant Conservation Internship

Price
£1,999.00 /PP
Highlights
  • cultural integration
  • data/statistical skills
  • field research skills
  • gain a qualification or credit
  • remote scenic location
  • report writing
  • chance to undertake your own research
  • GIS analysis
  • animal interaction
  • community awareness
  • data collection/analysis
  • habitat restoration/management
  • Conservation Careers Kickstarter Course
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  • Details
  • Itinerary
  • INCLUDES & EXCLUDES
  • Photos

Overview

Join our educational internship and immerse yourself in the daily difficulties that elephants face in Sri Lanka, where you will participate by gathering crucial data that will help towards solving the human-elephant conflict.

Greetings from the heart of Sri Lanka, where verdant landscapes meet majestic elephants grazing free in their natural habitat. We are delighted to invite you to join us on our important journey to help save the livelihoods of elephants in Sri Lanka.

The coexistence of humans and elephants on our lovely island nation has been both a blessing and a difficulty. The Human-Elephant Conflict (HEC) is a major threat to both local inhabitants and elephant populations. As human settlements expand into elephant habitats, disputes over resources emerge, resulting in property damage, crop raiding, and, sadly, casualties on both sides.

We are on a mission to bridge the gap and promote harmony between elephants and humans. Our Elephant Conservation Project is at the forefront of efforts to reduce the HEC using data-driven techniques and community engagement.

As an intern, you'll get to work with our committed team of researchers and conservationists. You'll travel through deep jungles and large tea estates to gather critical data about elephant movements, behaviour, and interactions with humans.

We're solving the riddles of elephant behaviour and ecology using techniques including GPS monitoring, video traps, and behavioural observations. This data is more than simply numbers on a spreadsheet; it is essential for understanding the HEC's complex dynamics and developing successful dispute resolution strategies.

But our conservation activities go beyond data collection. We are deeply dedicated to working with local communities to promote awareness and resilience. From organising community workshops on elephant behaviour to implementing sustainable livelihood projects, we are empowering people to coexist peacefully with their pachyderm neighbours.

And here's the exciting part: the skills you'll learn during this internship will serve as a springboard for a future career in conservation. From field research methodologies to community involvement initiatives, you'll gain vital skills and hands-on experience that will help you stand out in the competitive world of conservation.

So, if you're passionate about conservation, love elephants, and want to make a real impact in the world, join us on this fantastic journey. Let's work together to create a future in which elephants and people may coexist peacefully.

The itinerary described is a sample of a two week structure, however, this can change based on a number of variables.

 

Itinerary

Each internship will start with an ice breaker and orientation, where you will get introduced to the field staff and the programme activities you will be participating in.

In the afternoon, Team A will go tank-monitoring. Here you will learn how to take relevant photos and data to identify elephants by recording their physical features and other markings on their bodies. You will also collect elephant behavioural data to develop an elephant ethogram. The purpose is to gather data on elephants and observe other wildlife.

Team B will go to the Tree Hut and observe human-elephant conflict and interactions in an ancient elephant corridor. The purpose is to understand the issues of human-elephant conflicts. 

You will return to camp by 7pm, clean and put away field equipment, refresh and relax, and have dinner. In the evening, you will enter the data collected, watch a documentary and form a discussion with the group.

The first thing you can do is go birding and observe nature around the camp. This is an optional activity to get familiar with the field site, understand the diversity of birds, and experience amazing sunrises. 

After breakfast, teams will leave on separate assignments to conduct elephant foraging transects, dung transects, and trail mapping. During this time, you will observe other wildlife and birds, look for leopard and sloth bear signs, and observe various habitats. 

In the afternoon, Team A will go tank monitoring, and Team B will go to the tree hut. 

In the evening, you have an optional activity to learn about nocturnal animals. On this road trip, you will spot reptiles, amphibians, and other nocturnal wildlife. There might be some elephant encounters. 

Leave early for Sunrise Rock to view the sunrise and hike along the lakeshore, where you will observe local wildlife and birds. This is an optional activity where you can enjoy the scenery, appreciate nature, and learn about local ecology and conservation issues.

Later in the morning, both teams will leave to monitor two solar powered electric fences erected to stop elephants from raiding crops and village homes. Help to repair the fences if elephants have damaged them during the night. The objective of this is to understand the importance of community participation for conservation success.

In the afternoon, the entire group will leave on a safari to Wasgamuwa National Park. Observe elephants and other wildlife in the park. Collect data for the elephant ID catalogue and elephant ethogram. 

After breakfast, Leave to conduct Human–Elephant Conflict (HEC) surveys. Interviewing villagers and gathering data about elephants, property, crop and people damages. Visit elephant damaged houses and farm lands. The purpose of this is to identify major concerns of conflict between human and elephants to mitigate HEC .

In the afternoon, Team A will go tank monitoring and Team B will go to the Tree Hut.

First thing, birding and observing nature around camp.

After breakfast, the entire group will work on the Butterfly Sanctuary. Weeding, planting and watering host plants, identifying butterflies and helping to create micro-habitats for specific species. The purpose is to understand the importance of maintaining habitats and to appreciate the diversity and ecological role of butterflies.

In the afternoon, Team A will go tank monitoring and Team B will go to the Tree Hut.

At 9pm there is an optional activity: Small Wild Cat Study. Collect data on Fishing, Jungle and Rusty-spotted cats through direct observations using night vision scopes and thermal cameras.

First thing, the teams will leave to the Sunrise Rock to view the sunrise and hike along the lakeshore - observe local wildlife and birds.

After breakfast, the teams will go to several villages to observe citrus groves that have been set up to act as elephant deterrents while providing the villagers with a supplementary income. Gather data on these projects including assessing the growth, vigour and status of citrus groves. Here you will experience holistic approaches to human-elephant conflict mitigation.

In the afternoon, Team A will go tank monitoring and Team B will go to the Tree Hut.

First thing, birding and observing nature around camp.

After breakfast, teams will leave to check on sand and camera traps. Collect camera data cards and if needed help set new cameras and sand traps. The purpose is to learn how remote cameras and sand traps help to identify animals that are shy and illusive.

In the afternoon, Team A will go tank monitoring and Team B will go to the Tree Hut.

First thing, birding and observing nature around camp.

After breakfast, teams will leave on separate assignments to conduct elephant foraging transects, dung transects and trail mapping. During this time they will observe other wildlife, birds, look for leopard and sloth bear signs, and observe various habitats.

In the afternoon, Team A will go tank monitoring and Team B will go to the Tree Hut. 

Later at night, go on a night safari to observe nocturnal wildlife in the field house.

First thing, the teams will leave to the Sunrise Rock to view the sunrise and hike along the lakeshore  observe local wildlife and birds.

After breakfast, Leave to conduct pug mark surveys along stream banks. Look for pug marks of small mammals to identify them and to understand their distribution. The purpose is to gather information on some of the most elusive species.

In the afternoon, Team A will go tank monitoring and Team B will go to the Tree Hut.

First thing, birding and observing nature around camp.

After breakfast, leave to conduct Human–Elephant Conflict (HEC) surveys. Interviewing villagers and gathering data about elephants, property, crop and people damages. Visit elephant damaged houses and farmlands.

In the afternoon, Team A will go tank monitoring and Team B will go to the Tree Hut.

First thing, birding and observing nature around camp.

After breakfast, The teams will go to several villages to observe citrus groves that have been set up to act as elephant deterrents while providing the villagers with a supplementary income. Gather data on these projects including assessing the growth, vigor and status of citrus groves.

In the afternoon, Team A will go tank monitoring and Team B will go to the Tree Hut.

Later at night, Small Wild Cat Study. Collect data on Fishing, Jungle and Rusty-spotted cats through direct observations using night vision scopes and thermal cameras.

First thing, the teams will leave to the Sunrise Rock to view the sunrise and hike along the lakeshore - observe local wildlife and birds.

After breakfast, Leave to conduct pug mark surveys along stream banks. Look for pug marks of small mammals to identify them and to understand their distribution.

In the afternoon, the teams will go Tank Monitoring. Learn how to take photos and data to identify elephants by recording their physical features and other markings on their bodies. Collect elephant behavioural data to develop an elephant ethogram.

If this is your last day, you will pack up and be transferred to the airport. Other volunteers continue and rotate through the activities.

Price Includes

  • Conservation Careers Kickstarter Course
  • Conservation Training
  • Accommodation Provided
  • 100% financial protection & Security with TTA
  • Responsible Travel

Price Excludes

  • International flights
  • Travel insurance (mandatory)
  • Optional excursions
  • Sri Lanka Tourism Visa

Photos