Working with The Macaw Society is physically and mentally demanding but highly rewarding. The chance to live and work in this remote rainforest location is a wonderful learning experience for all those interested in biology and biological diversity.

The thousands of hours of observations that have been conducted over the years would not have been possible without the help of the many volunteers and assistants who have offered their time and energy for the cause of science and conservation. Volunteers are one of the most important aspects of the project. There are no qualification limitations, although most volunteers come from a biological or environmental sciences background. All applicants are welcome, as we can find a role for almost any type of volunteer.

As this is an on-going project, we accept volunteers throughout the year.

If you are responsible, enthusiastic, self-disciplined and patient PLUS you enjoy being outdoors and working with wildlife, we encourage you to check our volunteer jobs opportunities.  We have different volunteer assistantship programs that required different (1) levels of experience (from amateur nature enthusiasts and birdwatchers to graduate-level professionals), (2) ages (from 18 to 65+ years old) and (3) duration (from 2 weeks to 2-3 months).

We have two different types of positions which are available year-round.

Position #1: Long term volunteer assistant (8 weeks minimum, 3 months stay preferred)

  • Additional requirements: Good physical condition, able to carry a 40 lb (18 kg) pack over moderate terrain for up to 2 km, no fear of heights (Nov – Mar).
  • Volunteer activities: Volunteers will participate in all activities mentioned above. You will be trained to identify all parrots by sight and sound, climb trees to check macaw nests (Nov – Mar), monitor the clay lick, conduct parrot censuses, locate foraging parrots and enter data.

Position #2: Short term volunteer assistant (12 to 42 day stay preferred)

  • Additional requirements: Average physical condition, able to walk 2 km over moderate terrain, good sense of observing animals, ability to stay seated for long periods of time, some background knowledge of birds in general.
  • Volunteer activities: These assistants will be quickly trained to identify all the local parrots by sight and become experts at clay lick monitoring and macaw nest observation with video camera systems (Nov – Mar). Due to the short length of stay, volunteers will have only minimal involvement in activities requiring higher training levels like parrot censuses and tree climbing. Assistants will also help with data entry.


Volunteers need to pay a daily fee according to the position and experience:

  • Position #1: 25 USD/day
  • Position #2: 40 USD/day

*A one time processing fee of $30 will be added for all volunteers.

This rate covers food, non-bar beverages, unlimited tea and coffee, accommodation (bedding is provided), transport to the site from Puerto Maldonado. Once a volunteer was accepted they will be sent an invoice by email from Texas A&M University. Upon receipt, the volunteer needs to pay 20% of the total cost of their stay. This non-refundable payment is required to holds the reservation for the researcher. The remaining 80% of the payment should be made at least two weeks before the assistant arrives at TRC. Arrangements can be made if assistants wish to pay in cash in Peru. However, prior permission from the coordinator is needed. Changes to the daily fee may apply according to availability and season. For the actual prices please contact the project coordinator: info@themacawsociety.org

How To Apply

To apply please send an email to gaby.vigo@themacawsociety.org

This email should contain the following:

  1. A letter of interest explaining why you want to work with the society
  2. Your CV or resume
  3. Email addresses for at least 3 references
  4. The range of dates when you will be available and how long you can participate. For example you may say something like “any 20 day period between March and July 2015”.