Trailing Penguins in Patagonia, Argentina
Where: Chubut, Patagonia, Argentina, South America.
Focus: Study how penguins feeding behaviour impacts breeding patterns and identify habitats that should receive Government protection.
When: October to December (set expedition dates)
Duration: 7 days
Suitability: Over 18s. (Volunteers aged 15-17 welcome if accompanied by parent or guardian)
Cost: 7-day expedition starts from GBP 1975
As a volunteer, you will:
- Map the penguin colony by walking the entire site and recording the location of every nest and taking a census of the penguins (October volunteers only).
- Conduct surveys of nesting parents before their eggs hatch (October volunteers only).
- Monitor specific penguin pairs throughout the three-month nesting period. Volunteers monitor their behaviour and count the number of eggs and hatchlings at each nest.
- Attach GPS tracking devices and underwater cameras to penguins in order to monitor their movements out at sea. This will be the first time researchers get a detailed picture of how, and where, penguins forage and feed their young.
- Log all the data collected and learn how to analyse videos and graphs from the tracking devices.
- Help identify giant petrels – another important ocean bird. Volunteers help sort through images and create a census of the local population.
Small, shared cabins overlooking the sea in the traditional fishing village of Camarones. The town is a short drive from the dramatic rocky shores of Argentina’s Golfo San Jorge coast, the site of the penguin nesting colonies.
- Sleeping: Shared, single-gender rooms.
- Food: 3 meals a day. Staff and volunteers cook and clean on a rotational basis.
The next step: Visit Earthwatch for more information and to book.
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