Ecuador Bird Banding Volunteer Assistant

Life Net Nature, Dr. Dusti Becker
Reserva Las Tangaras, Mindo, Ecuador
Cost-share Donation to Life Net Nature
Apr 30, 2019
Jun 30, 2019
Job Level
Entry level
Employment Type
Salary Type

Ecuador Andes Bird Banding Assistants

Volunteers sought to assist with a long-term avian monitoring and conservation project in the Andes of western Ecuador, 

Summer Team: August 4-17, 2019     (Deadline to apply - June 15, 2019; first come, first serve)

Winter Team: December 2-15, 2019  (Deadline to apply - October 1, 2019)          

Life Net volunteer banding assistants help international scientists, Dr. Dusti Becker, Kevin Shaw, and Alex Penn monitor birds at the Las Tangaras Reserve, Mindo, Ecuador.  The team advances scientific understandings of tropical montane forest bird communities, including avian responses to deforestation, forest recovery, habitat loss, and climate change. Your participation and cost-share donation contributes to maintaining a unique protected area, Reserva Las Tangaras in a biodiveristy hotspot, the Andes of western Ecuador. 

Reserva Las Tangaras, a 50-hectare nature preserve boasts more than 30 species of hummingbirds, dozens of colorful tanagers, the largest regional Andean cock-of-the-rock display lek, and over 300 tropical bird species, many of which are Choco and Andean endemics.  The reserve is also home to endangered capuchin monkeys, spectacled bear, cougar, and myriads of other wildlife species. 

Volunteers set up and monitor mist nets, help extract birds from nets, carry birds from nets to a banding station, and record basic ecological data in the field.  Training in handling, measuring and banding is included, but previous experience is desirable. Volunteers will have time to explore the Mindo area, and the team will visit the higher-elevation Bellavista Cloud Forest Reserve on the final day of the project. 

Accommodation is in a large research cabin where you will have a simple bed with mosquito netting, showers, & indoor flush toilet.  Meals are delicious home-style Ecuadorian prepared by experienced local cooks. 

The cost-share donation of $1650 covers transportation in Ecuador, meals, and lodging during the conservation research program, reserve fees, salaries for Ecuadorian cooks and para-biologists, and all entrance fees and special lunch at Bellavista Reserve. Airfare to and from Ecuador and expenses in Quito are not included.  Your cost-share donation helps to cover costs associated with hosting the volunteer team and also contributes to annual stewarship of the Las Tangaras Reserve such as educational programs about cloud forest wildlife, stipends for reserve stewards, maintainance of trails and signs, repairs, preventing damage to the local ecosystem, and feeding resident hummingbirds.  Cost share donations provide around 60% of the annual funding to sustain the protected area. 

Both conservation expeditions begin and end in Quito, Ecuador. Contact Dr. Dusti Becker at for further details and for an application form.  Experience with mist-netting is desirable, but not required.  Students, recent graduates and others looking for hands-on training and resume building experience will benefit greatly from this project. 

Visit more details about Life Net Nature and Reserva Las Tangaras.  

To apply, email a brief cover e-letter detailing your experience and interest in participating on the team to Dr. Dusti Becker, (Resume is optional, and helpful).  Dr. Becker will send you more information and an official Life Net Nature volunteer application form.