Neotropical Bat Capture and Acoustic Survey Techniques Workshop (November)

Arrive November 14. Transportation to/from the Belize International Airport is provided at an additional cost ($40 USD/pp one-way for shared shuttle). Workshop dates are Nov 15-19 and include lectures/labs during the morning and afternoon and netting for bats at night. Lodging and food are completely covered.

 

-Live, work, and play at the T.R.E.E.S Research Center in the Maya Mountains of central Belize. The Center is COVID Safe Gold Standard approved by the Belize Tourism Board.

-Learn how to properly use mist nets and safely remove and handle bats.

-Learn characteristics for identifying Neotropical bats. Previous workshops have captured up to 19 species.

-Learn how to properly use bat detectors to record bat echolocation calls.

-Learn the basics of bat echolocation and how to identify 30 Neotropical bats by their echolocation calls.

-An optional end-week field trip to visit nearby ruins, caves, and/or the ocean, depending on the participant’s interests. This additional cost will be between $75 and $125 USD/person. Or participants can relax and enjoy the station that day. We will still net for bats that night.

-Participants can arrive early and/or stay later to use T.R.E.E.S as a home base for exploring Belize and adding on additional optional eco-tours. Those arriving before Nov. 14 or departing after Nov. 20 may be responsible for arranging their own transportation to/from T.R.E.E.S, and food/lodging before dinner on Nov. 14 or after breakfast on Nov. 16 will be at additional cost. Please inquire with T.R.E.E.S for more details.

 

Qualifications

No previous bat experience required! Only an enthusiasm for bats! To handle bats, proof of pre-exposure Rabies vaccinations (and/or a good titer if your vaccine is > 2 years old) is required. Without this you are welcome to participate in the workshop and observe bats being handled, but you will not be able to handle bats yourself. Entering Belize requires a negative COVID-19 test or proof of full vaccination. COVID-19 tests can be done as a PCR test or Rapid Antigen test in your home country a minimum of 72 hours in advance (and you bring your results with you), or as a Rapid Antigen test when you arrive in the Belize airport. The cost for the airport test is $50 USD. The airport test can take 30 minutes.

To register, please contact: registration@ecorana.ca

NABC Bird Banding Workshop

Our fall banding workshop is back by popular demand at the T.R.E.E.S. Field Station and Toucan Ridge Bird Observatory in Belize! Over the 5-day workshop, participants will learn the basics of bird banding from certified NABC trainers. Instruction will be primarily field-based in small groups (max. 4 per trainer), while classroom style discussions will review: the history of bird banding, bird banding techniques, Pyle, Bird Topography, Molt, and other pertinent topics. The workshop is tailored for participants with no experience to those with plenty. For those wishing to become certified at the Assistant, Bander, or Trainer level, the session will take place immediately following the workshop. Participants will learn ageing and sexing of Neotropical migrants as well as resident Belizean birds using both Pyle and WRP ageing systems.

 

Workshop: Nov 7 – 11 (5 days) // $950 USD // (Arrive: Nov 6, Depart: Nov 12)

Certification: Nov 12 – 13 (2 days) // $400 USD // (Arrive: Nov 11, Depart: Nov 14)

Workshop & Certification: Nov 7 – 13 (7 days) // $1,350 USD (Arrive Nov 6, Depart: Nov 14)

 

Course is hosted in an open-air facility with small groups (max. 4 per trainer) at T.R.E.E.S Research Center, Covid-Safe Gold Standard Approved.

For more information about the workshop contact us at registration@ecorana.ca or info@treesociety.org

5 Week Marine Research Expedition

We offer cutting edge marine expeditions that give individuals the chance to work alongside our marine biologists and community, helping with conservation, through research, education and diving, over a 2 – 6 week period. We collect data on humpback whales, manta rays, whale sharks, coral reefs, ocean trash & fisheries and run 2 outreach programs.

During your time with us you’ll participate in:

Conservation Science Training
Conservation science is very complex so at Love The Oceans we aim to provide you with the basic knowledge and skills to allow you to go on to develop your own projects and continue with Conservation Science.

You will participate in a series of educational lectures led by our marine biologists during your first week with us, based around our specific areas of research and community outreach.

Scientific Dive Training

Here at Love The Oceans we use an adapted version of Reef Life Survey methodology to look at coral coverage, biodiversity and abundance as an indicator of reef health. Reef Life Survey is an internationally renowned methodology that is citizen science based. This means we can compare our data to other places around the world that uses the same methodology and it is useful for you to be familiar with it too as many NGOs around the world use it. We will train you up in this methodology during your training week.

PADI Open Water is a prerequisite for our programs. If you are not currently PADI OW certified, no problem! You can complete your OW with us in Mozambique in the week prior to your program starting, please contact us for further information and pricing.

Introduction to data handling

An integral part of what we do at Love The Oceans is our marine research. As a field assistant you will have a workshop on data handling. This will mainly focus around database management and processing. We will show you how to do basic analytics on data and how to handle large data sets. This is a particularly useful skill that comes in handy in stats modules at university and when you write your thesis.

Cultural Tour

Mozambique is a developing nation with limited food resources, electricity and running water. The region we operate in is remote and many people live below the poverty line.

You will have the opportunity to visit a local family’s home and learn how they live in rural Mozambique, and how they prepare meals. Field assistants have found this experience to be rather humbling, but also a lot of fun with the many children Mozambican families tend to have!

Coral Reef Surveying

We believe we’re in a biodiversity hotspot and we need coral reef data to prove our area is worth protecting. You will be trained in LTO’s coral reef methodology and once qualified, you will conduct LTO surveys on your dives.

LTO collects this data to develop a robust dataset which will provide the evidence base required to effectively lobby for changes to certain fishing legislation and a Marine Protected Area (MPA) to be established. We believe that securing an MPA will create opportunities for eco-tourism, bringing much needed income into the region, and provide a viable alternative to unsustainable fishing. After your scientific dive training, you will help collect data and add to our coral reef database.

Fisheries data collection

Collecting fisheries data will allow us to assess how sustainable the fisheries are. From these assessments, eventually we would like to determine minimum landing size for individual species, as well as changing certain fishing legislation.

We cover two fisheries sites; Guinjata Bay and Paindane Bay. A third may be sporadically covered in accordance with the shark fishing. Both sites have seasonal resorts and active local fishermen. The Guinjata research site is next to our base camp, while the Paindane research site is a 45minute walk. Expect to walk to both sites. Every group will have a mobile phone so help is always at hand.

Every day on fisheries you will be responsible for recording the data into the logs along with the corresponding images (checking shark and ray IDs with a field specialist if you are unsure), cleaning the collected shark/ray vertebrae, and ensuring equipment is clean and stored.

Megafauna Research 

Humpback whales typically migrate through Mozambique between June and September. LTO is collecting data on these magnificent creatures, looking at surface behaviour and pod formation, never before studied in our area.

As part of LTO’s team, you will be armed with a camera, binoculars and survey sheets in order to record sightings of humpback whales (during their season) and any other megafauna that passes through (whale sharks & manta rays are residential). You’ll be going out on the dive boat with the divers but will remain on the boat while the other volunteers dive, in order for you to conduct the whale surveys.

Ocean trash research 

Unfortunately plastic pollution is a human-induced problem the world over.  Mozambique is no different. We’re on the edge of the Indian Ocean Garbage Patch which spans approximately 5 million kilometres squared and is made up of a huge range of trash, from sludge, to plastics, to glass. One of the most efficient and easiest way to remove trash from the ocean is through beach cleans.

We’ve committed to doing at least 2 beach cleans a week and weighing and logging what we collect to work out if it is international or local trash and what we can do to reduce this pollution.

After we have collected the trash off the beaches, we process it – wash, cut & dry it – and then we pack it into what we call eco-bricks. Our eco-bricks are 2L drinks bottles thrown out by resorts here, which we pack tightly with beach clean trash. these eco-bricks are then used in construction at the local schools as part of our projects.

Help teach marine conservation

Educating the next generation of fishermen in schools about sustainable fishing and why the ocean is important helps the local community protect their biodiversity assets – assets because of ecotourism and fisheries.

As part of your field assistant role, you will help at Guinjata and Paindane School Monday-Friday. You will be teaching 10-13 year olds about the marine environment, as well as basic biology, geography, marine resource management and sea safety.

Help improve local learning facilities

The Government does not have enough money to provide the standard of learning facilities the children need. Every year we fundraise for money specifically to improve the school facilities in consultation with the local community.

We strongly believe in supporting the organic growth and development of the local community, and as such we employ local builders to complete construction/improvement work to put money back into the local economy. Our field assistants then enhance this by painting educational murals on the school walls.

This is your opportunity to get creative and design a mural (anything ranging from the human body to the solar system or an underwater scene) and then spend your time between teaching bringing your art to life for the children.  You are also welcome to bring some designs out with you

Help teach swimming

Surprisingly few local children are confident in the water. Part of our commitment to the local community is teaching local children swimming on Saturday afternoons.

We do this to improve water safety skills in the community, with the aim of igniting passion for the marine environment in the younger generations. Learning to swim opens up the door to a range of other activities for this generation. We hope for a future where the local community both want, and are able to, experience the underwater world for themselves.

Optional: African Safari

After 5 weeks in Guinjata Bay, you have the option to go on safari in South Africa and explore the stunning Balule Private Game Reserve in the Greater Kruger Ecosystem with our amazing ethical partners Campfire Academy. We LOVE it here.  All accommodation, meals (B/L/D) and overland transport to the safari lodge and onto Johannesburg airport is included, but the drinks are on you!

This is one of the best spots for spotting the Big 5 our team have ever come across, with one of the most ethical operators in Southern Africa. You will be taken on game drives, bush walks, and participate in ecology, conservation management and sustainable tourism lectures and walks – all with a very experienced field guide. You’ll learn how to track animals and pick up trails. You’ll have a sleep-out under the stars in the bush. You’ll learn what it’s like to be a ranger from experienced professionals. You’ll also be helping out with the Hoedspruit Animal Outreach project.

There will be a scenic tour through the Drakensburg Mountains, by car or boat, to see the iconic God’s Window, the Three Sisters and the spectacular Bourke’s Luck Potholes. When it’s time to say good-bye, you will be transported to Johannesburg Airport to arrive Sunday evening.

3 Week Conservation Adventure Program

We offer a cutting edge volunteer program that gives individuals the chance to work alongside our marine biologists and the local community, helping with conservation, through research, education and diving, over a 3-4 week period. We collect data on humpback whales, manta rays, whale sharks, coral reefs, ocean trash & fisheries.

You will have the opportunity to participate in the following activities:

PADI scuba diving qualification
You do not have to be a diver before you come out to Mozambique, you can train with us here! Included in your program fee is scuba diving training. During the first 2 weeks of the program you can attain one of the following:

– PADI Open Water Certification. For first time divers, which consists of lectures, pool sessions and 4 open water dives
– PADI Advanced Open Water Certification, designed to advance your diving. The course helps build confidence and expand your skills through 5 open water adventure dives.
– PADI Emergency First Aid Response. This is a prerequisite to your PADI Rescue Diver Training, if you already have your first aid certificate you can go stright into your Rescue diver
– PADI Rescue Diver. This is designed to help you learn how to offer help and aid people in the water and is the last step before you PADI Divemaster, the first professional diving qualification.

Conservation Science Training
Conservation science is very complex so at Love The Oceans we aim to provide you with the basic knowledge and skills to allow you to go on to develop your own projects and continue with Conservation Science.

You will participate in a series of educational lectures with our qualified marine biologists based around our specific areas of work within Conservation Science. If you’d like to focus on a specific interest area let us know – we have a variety of experts in our Research team.

Ocean Safaris and Megafauna Research
You’ll have a theory session on how to photograph megafauna for a successful ID shot. You’ll be learning about humpback whales and whale sharks, with some manta ray IDs too.

Your skills will then be put to the test on ocean safaris where you can practise taking ID shots. You will also be taught why the conservation of these species is so important and learn about our work in this area.

Participating in Coral Reef Research
We believe we’re in a biodiversity hotspot and we need coral reef data to prove our area is worth protecting. You will be introduced to LTO’s coral reef methodology and once qualified, may have the chance to help with LTO surveys on your dives.

LTO collects this data to develop a robust dataset which will provide the evidence base required to effectively lobby for changes to certain fishing legislation and a Marine Protected Area (MPA) to be established. We believe that securing an MPA will create opportunities for eco-tourism, bringing much needed income into the region, and provide a viable alternative to unsustainable fishing.

Participate in fisheries research
LTO collects fisheries data in order to assess how sustainable the fisheries are in their current form. Our research is collected at two beautiful beach fisheries locations – our Guinjata Bay research base, and our Paindane Bay research site.

You will be supporting LTOs fisheries research and during this time you will learn to collect beach monitoring data, how to log it and why this is so important. You will record fish, shark and ray measurement data into the logs along with their corresponding images.

In building this dataset for monitoring and analysis it is our aim to work with the local community to determine a minimum landing size for individual species and help re-build a sustainable artisanal industry.

Help improve school facilities
The Government does not have enough money to provide the standard of learning facilities the children need. Every year we fundraise for money specifically to improve the school facilities in consultation with the local community.

We strongly believe in supporting the organic growth and development of the local community, as such we employ local builders to complete construction/improvement work. Our volunteers then enhance this by painting educational murals on the school walls.

We ask you to get creative and design a mural (anything ranging from the human body to the solar system or an underwater scene) and then spend the day bringing your art to life for the children.  You are also welcome to bring some designs out with you

Participate in cultural tour
Mozambique is a developing nation with limited food resources, electricity and running water. The region we operate in is remote and many people live below the poverty line.

You will have the opportunity to visit a local family’s home and learn how they live in rural Mozambique, and how they prepare meals. Volunteers have found this experience to be rather humbling, but also a lot of fun with the many children many Mozambican families have!

Support swimming lessons
Surprisingly few local children are confident in the water. Part of our commitment to the local community is teaching local school children to swim on Saturday afternoons.

We do this to improve water safety skills in the community, and with the aim of igniting a passion for the marine environment in the younger generations. We hope for a future where the local community both want, and are able to, experience the underwater world for themselves.

Language Lessons
The community speak Portuguese and the local dialect, Bitonga. You will participate in language lessons while you’re with us. These have proven great fun in the past and allows you to learn a little of both Portuguese and Bitonga.

Learn to source & cook locally grown food
Mozambique is a developing nation with limited food resources. In the region we operate is remote, and the coastal soil and climate conditions are not favorable to varied agriculture. You will witness a lot of household subsistence farming. The local food is very filling and consists of a few different vegetables cooked in various different ways.

You will join in one evening for some local cooking. You will have the opportunity to to see what a normal family lives off in rural Mozambique, and how they prepare meals.

Adventure Trips
There are a variety of  adventures available around the local area. which have proved great fun in the past. You will participate in at least two of the below adventure trips depending on the time of year, weather and availability:
Surf Trip – Day trip to Tofo (a surf hub) for a fun surf lesson, shop around the local market and the chance to enjoy some delicious cakes
Boat Trip – Sail the Inhambane estuary, and snorkel a few islands
City Walking Tour – discover more of the history of the City of Inhambane in a 3 hour walking tour.  

Help Ocean Trash Research and Management
Unfortunately plastic pollution is a human-induced problem the world over. Mozambique is no different. We’re on the edge of the Indian Ocean Garbage Patch which spans approximately 5 million kilometres squared and is made up of a huge range of trash, from sludge, to plastics, to glass. One of the most efficient and easiest way to remove trash from the ocean is through beach cleans.

We’ve committed to doing at least 2 beach cleans a week and weighing and logging what we collect to work out if it is international or local trash and what we can do to reduce this pollution. Last year our staff and volunteers collected over 350kg of trash. We’re hoping to smash that target this year!

After we have collected the trash off the beaches, we process it – wash, cut & dry it – and then we pack it into what we call eco-bricks. Our eco-bricks are 2L drinks bottles thrown out by resorts here, which we pack tightly with beach clean trash. these eco-bricks are then used in construction at the local schools as part of our projects.

Option: African Safari
After 3 weeks in Jangamo, you have the option to go on safari in South Africa and explore the stunning Balule Private Game Reserve in the Greater Kruger Ecosystem with our amazing ethical partners Campfire Academy. We LOVE it here.  All accommodation, meals (B/L/D) and overland transport to the safari lodge and onto Johannesburg airport is included, but the drinks are on you!

This is one of the best spots for spotting the Big 5 our team have ever come across, with one of the most ethical operators in Southern Africa. You will be taken on game drives, bush walks, and participate in ecology, conservation management and sustainable tourism lectures and walks – all with a very experienced field guide. You’ll learn how to track animals and pick up trails. You’ll have a sleep-out under the stars in the bush. You’ll learn what it’s like to be a ranger from experienced professionals. You’ll also be helping out with the Hoedspruit Animal Outreach project.

There will be a scenic tour through the Drakensburg Mountains, by car or boat, to see the iconic God’s Window, the Three Sisters and the spectacular Bourke’s Luck Potholes. When it’s time to say good-bye, you will be transported to Johannesburg Airport to arrive Sunday evening.