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Community-based Wildlife Management in the Peruvian Amazon

Project Description

This PhD research will use camera trap and remote audio recorder surveys to estimate large mammal populations and develop science-driven hunting management plans with Maijuna indigenous communities in the north-eastern Peruvian Amazon. The candidate will assess the impact of new no-offtake zoning in traditional hunting grounds that are being set aside for ecotourism and to ensure the sustainability of hunting in surrounding hunting grounds. We are in the sixth year of this conservation project on the Rio Napo, which will reduce the hunting pressure on vulnerable species such as primates, tapirs and white-lipped peccaries, whilst ensuring the food security of indigenous communities. This is a rare opportunity to make wide landscape-scale wildlife surveys before and after a conservation intervention in a strategically important central region of the Amazon Rainforest. This research conforms to all Peruvian guidelines for research with human participants and animals and has been approved by the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) and the Institutional Review Board (IRB) for research involving human participants. Ethics approval in the UK will be sought before the enrolment of a PhD student and the start of research.

Supervisory team - Dr Mark Bowler, Prof Nic Bury and Prof Carlos Peres

Type of programme: PhD

Start date of project: January 2020

Mode of study: Full-time

Length of studentship: 3 year funded period

Location: Ipswich Campus

Entry requirements:

Masters Degree in Biological Sciences (candidates with suitable interests qualified in appropriate, analysis methods, Mathematics or Computing may also apply). Applications without a Masters will require a 1st class degree or equivalent.

Funding Notes

The University of Suffolk are pleased to offer this project as a fee waiver scholarship. The cost of your PhD fees will be covered by the University, however living costs will need to be considered and accounted for by the candidate. UK/EU only.

Mark Bowler has a strong record in funding conservation and research projects in the Peruvian Amazon, and his research program has been running continuously for 15 years. Joint funding applications are being prepared with George Mason University, USA, and larger grant proposals are being discussed with Professor Carlos Peres at the University of East Anglia.


i) Bowler, M.T., Tobler, M.W., Endress, B.A., Gilmore, M.P. and Anderson, M.J., 2017. Estimating mammalian species richness and occupancy in tropical forest canopies with arboreal camera traps. Remote Sensing in Ecology and Conservation, 3(3), pp.146-157.

ii) Roncal, C.M., Bowler, M. and Gilmore, M.P., 2018. The ethnoprimatology of the Maijuna of the Peruvian Amazon and implications for primate conservation. Journal of ethnobiology and ethnomedicine, 14(1), p.19.

iii) Mayor, P., Pérez-Peña, P., Bowler, M., Puertas, P.E., Kirkland, M. and Bodmer, R., 2015. Effects of selective logging on large mammal populations in a remote indigenous territory in the northern Peruvian Amazon. Ecology and Society, 20(4).

iv) Mayor, P., El Bizri, H., Bodmer, R.E. and Bowler, M., 2017. Assessment of mammal reproduction for hunting sustainability through community‐based sampling of species in the wild. Conservation Biology, 31(4), pp.912-923.

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