Peru conservation volunteers

Animal Rehab in the Amazon Rainforest – Peru

Volunteer in the Amazon rainforest and help with wildlife rehabilitation, reforestation, and vital conservation efforts

At a glance

As featured in: Animal Planet, Evan Goes Wild

  • Live in the Amazon Rainforest and work to protect wildlife and indigenous plants.
  • Wake up to the sounds of the jungle, explore the rainforest by foot, on the river, or on the highest canopy walkway in South America.
  • You’ll help rehabilitate wild animals and become part of our ongoing efforts to preserve this unique ecosystem for future generations.

Start Dates: 


See Dates

Minimum Duration: 

One Week


16 or over

Is Conservation volunteer work in Peru right for me?

This project is ideal for adventurers and thrill-seekers with a passion for nature and the outdoors. This is a once in a lifetime chance to do animal volunteer work abroad and live in the heart of the Amazon Rainforest! 

On top of making a difference, you will gain plenty of practical wildlife conservation experience. You’ll work closely with some of the top minds of biology and rainforest conservation.

If you have an interest in conservation, biology, or environmental science, you’ll enjoy the hands-on fieldwork, and you’ll contribute to ongoing research projects. You’ll need to be comfortable with getting your hands dirty, and be willing to skip some home comforts! Animal conservation volunteering abroad is not for the faint-hearted.

You don’t need previous experience to join. You’ll be supervised by experts, and our staff are always available to provide guidance and advice. 

The project runs all year round, so you can join whenever it suits your schedule. The minimum duration is one week, but we recommend staying longer to have an even greater impact.

Your conservation work will focus on these main areas:

Collect data

By observing and recording details about the species you see during surveys, you’ll help us better understand how to protect them. This type of work can include: 

  • Bird censuses conducted from a canopy platform
  • Collecting video footage using camera traps
  • Recording data on species characteristics during trail hikes

With the help of your work, we produce a technical report every year to demonstrate our environmental impact. The data for these reports comes directly from our volunteers’ daily observations. Thanks to this work, Taricaya is increasingly recognized internationally as a research center. It has contributed a number of important research papers at international conferences, especially in the field of ornithology.

Animal release program

At Taricaya, we run an animal release program. This work involves our project partner, Animal Defenders International (ADI). ADI confiscates illegal pets or circus animals, including Amazon rainforest monkeys. We then rehabilitate these rainforest animals at the rescue center, and release them into the wild if possible. These are usually endangered species like scarlet macaws, whose populations are steadily decreasing in the Amazon. 

You’ll help with feeding these animals and doing general maintenance. This includes tasks like cleaning enclosures or repairing fences. Although this may sound like menial work, it’s a chance to get up close to beautiful wildlife, while also helping prepare them for a life of freedom. For animals raised in captivity who can’t be released, you’ll be helping to give them the quality of life they deserve. 

Breeding program

You’ll also help with our turtle breeding program and do things like patrolling riverbanks for turtle nests, collecting the eggs, and incubating them at the center. This protects them from poachers. When the eggs hatch, watching hatchlings scurry across the sand making their way to water is a heart-warming moment! It also makes a huge impact on the populations of these species in the wild. 

You’ll also help with catching and breeding endangered butterflies. Our butterfly catching methods are completely safe and leave the butterflies unharmed. We can then house them in optimal conditions for our rainforest animal research, help them breed, and study their behavior.

Pilot farm

We have a pilot farm where we work on developing and perfecting sustainable farming techniques. We then teach local people about sustainable farming to reduce the negative impact of farming in the area. Your role is to tend the crops and help us raise awareness about sustainable farming. Sustainable farming will make Amazon Rainforest reforestation much easier.

We also run a mahogany program. We grow mahogany trees close together and study them. This particular Rainforest habitat project shows local loggers that this is a cost-effective alternative to cutting down trees from the rainforest. We are also able to share the timber from these trees to use in production. You will help with maintaining the plantation and taking measurements.

Raise awareness

We work to raise awareness about conservation on both a local and a global level. Through research and publications, Taricaya provides groundbreaking data that draws attention to the work we’re doing in the Amazon rainforest and its ecosystems. You’ll be involved in collecting this data and contributing to large-scale research work.

You can also help with raising awareness about conservation in local communities. For example, you could run a recycling competition in a local school. Or you could conduct a workshop on the small things people can do to combat climate change.

Project partners

Projects Abroad has funded, staffed, and run the Taricaya Ecological Reserve for over a decade. For this reason, we rely heavily on volunteer support to keep the rainforest wildlife project center running. Since we opened the reserve, we’ve worked with the local community and the government. This ensures that the data we collect contributes towards the future of the Amazon Rainforest’s protection. We’re proud to support such a growing force in the area of rainforest conservation.

We’ve also partnered with Animal Defenders International, who provide valuable support for our work rehabilitating wild animals in Peru. Many of these animals have been confined at circuses in horrifying conditions for most of their lives, so an animal sanctuary volunteer would make all the difference.

Where in Peru will I work?

Puerto Maldonado

You’ll live and work at the central camp at Taricaya Ecological Reserve, which is located in the Amazon Rainforest. The camp is a one-hour boat ride from the nearest town, Puerto Maldonado, situated in southeast Peru near the border with Bolivia. 

Most of the work that you’ll do is based in and around the camp, and within the Taricaya Ecological Reserve.

Airport pickup, flights and visas

When you arrive at your respective airport, a member of Projects Abroad staff will be there to meet you. You can find more detailed information on arrival airports, orientation, and visas on our Peru Arrival Procedures page.

A typical day doing rainforest conservation work in Peru

During your project, you’ll follow a timetable and normally work between four and six hours each day. You’ll start work at around 8am and then break at 11:30am as the day warms up. You’ll begin work again in the cooler afternoons from about 3:30pm to 5:30pm. 

Your project work runs from Monday to Friday with your weekends free.

In the morning, you can do things like feeding the animals at the rescue center, working in the pilot farm, or work with the rainforest spider monkeys by collecting data on them.

You’ll break for lunch to avoid the midday heat. During this time, you can relax, read a book, or chat to your fellow volunteers.

After your break, you’ll do things like a bird census or working in the butterfly house. Keep in mind that some of the work is seasonal and you will work on various different tasks during your time in Peru.

During your free time, you can make the most of your stunning surroundings. You can go on group hikes or play board games with the other volunteers. 

Over the weekend, you’ll have the option to go to Puerto Maldonado by boat.

Conservation volunteer doing a wildlife survey in the Amazon Rainforest in Peru

What are the aims and impact of this Rainforest Conservation Project?

The main aim of this project is to conserve the diverse plants and animals of the Amazon Rainforest ecosystem.

The Amazon Rainforest wildlife is under constant threat from various issues. These include:

  • Agriculture
  • Logging
  • Poaching
  • Smuggling
  • Pollution
  • Mining 
  • Urbanization

Not enough is done to protect and preserve the unique wildlife and vegetation.

Our project at Taricaya works to rehabilitate an area previously damaged by human activities, such as gold mining and farming. We conduct surveys throughout the area to track the rehabilitation of local wildlife and vegetation, and reintroduce species previously found in the area.

We also help local people avoid causing damage to the environment. They help us with our Rainforest projects and we help them with their farming. You’ll become part of these efforts, and help us run a model farm. Through the farm, we pass on ideas and techniques for more sustainable farming to local farmers.

We have outlined four main goals in our Conservation Management Plan for Peru. These are:

  • Restore natural ecosystems
  • Protect local wildlife
  • Monitor habitats
  • Raise awareness of the importance of protecting the environment

Join our Amazon Rainforest Conservation Project today and help protect the wildlife of Peru.

Interesting facts about conservation volunteering in Peru with projects abroad

Management plans

We set out the aims and objectives of our projects in documents called Management Plans. We use them to properly plan the work you’ll do. They also help us measure and evaluate our achievements and impact each year.

Ultimately, our Management Plans help us make our projects better. This in turn means you get to be part of something that makes a real impact where it’s needed. Read more about our Management Plans.

Measuring our impact

Our projects work towards clear long-term goals, with specific annual objectives. Every volunteer and intern we send to these projects helps us work towards these goals, no matter how long they spend on our projects.

Every year we take a step back and look at how much progress we've made towards these goals. We put together a Global Impact Report, which documents our achievements. Find out more about the impact our global community of volunteers, interns and staff make, and read the latest report.

Food and accommodation

You'll share accommodation with other Projects Abroad volunteers during your stay the Taricaya Ecological Reserve. This is a great way to get to know your fellow volunteers, share experiences, and explore your surroundings in your free time together. Each bungalow sleeps four people, and has a private bathroom.

The accommodation is safe, clean, and comfortable. Your programme fees include three meals a day.

Find out more about our accommodation.

Leisure activities and free time

Peru is a vibrant country with a mix of activities for every kind of volunteer. Whether you’re into arts, culture, history, or nature, there’s sure to be something for you!

One of the biggest attractions of Peru is the Inca history. There are awe-inspiring archaeological sites like Coricancha, Tambomachay, and of course, Machu Picchu.

Over a weekend, you can take a trip to the village of Pisac, where you can browse bright, eye-catching textile markets. Don’t miss out on seeing the llamas and alpacas too!

There are also lively restaurants, the perfect place to spend an evening relaxing and enjoying local cuisine, like ceviche.

We run a variety of projects in Peru so you’ll likely meet many other volunteers on your trip. It’s the perfect opportunity to connect and travel as a group. However, you’re welcome to travel independently if you prefer. 

Safety and staff support

Your safety and security is our prime concern. We have many procedures and systems to ensure you have the support you need to enjoy your trip with peace of mind. Our Projects Abroad staff are available 24 hours a day to help, and will be on hand to make sure you settle in well at your accommodation and placement. If you encounter any problems, they will be available to help at any time.

Find out more about safety and backup.

This placement is fully researched, safety audited, and risk assessed in accordance with the British Standard BS8848 for the Adventure Travel Sector.

When you apply you only pay a $295 deposit, which comes off the total program fees.

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