The town of Karuizawa is located inside of Joshinnetsu National Park. It is a popular tourist mountain resort, surrounded by lush forests full of biodiversity, featuring animals such as Asian Black Bears, Snow Monkeys, Flying Squirrels, boars and many species of birds.
Asian Black Bears occassionally enter into town, in search for food leftovers from garbage bins. As they impose a threat to humans, in the past they were often killed, which was leading to a minimization of their population size.
The Wildlife Research Centre is carrying out a Bear Protection Program. Bears are equipped with radio collars, making it possible to trace their movements. If a bear approaches town, the research centre's team is reaching out with specially trained Karelian Bear Dogs to push the bears back into the forest.
Inside of the forest, the team is making sure there are sufficent natural food ressources for the bears. Simultanously, there are awareness raising campaigns for the population. Regular garbage bins in the city are replaced by special types of bins that bears cannot open.
You assist the team with all of these activities, such as equipping the wild bears with collars and reaching out with the bear dogs if a bear approaches town. You also register other animal sightings in the forests and you help to remove invasive species of plants and animals that can impose a threat to the local ecosystem.
For visitors who are interested, biologists are offering guided tours, such as nocturnal observations of Flying Squirrels, star watching, and identification of animal and plant species. You support the biologists with the preparation and implementation of the tours.
As there are biologists at the Wildlife Research Centre, this placement is suitable for supervised internships.
The duration of the placement is exactly 4 weeks. In the case of internships for university credit, longer periods are sometimes possible.
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