At the bear protection project in Karuizawa in the mountains of Japan, you can do an English-speaking virtual internship with a world-leading organization that is committed to the protection and research of Asian black bears (Ursus thibetanus).
Many of the bears in the surrounding forests are equipped with tracking devices. If bears approach the town, where there is a risk that they will be shot because they impose a danger to people, the project's emergency team moves out with specially trained Karelian bear dogs and drives the bear back into the forest.
The research with bears carried out includes determining hibernation areas, family tree analysis, the relationship between nutrition and the bear's range of action, as well as laboratory analysis of the blood, hair, teeth and feces of bears. Photo traps have been set up in the woods, GPS and radio telemetry are also used and the data is evaluated.
In addition to the activity with bears, other animal sightings are regularly recorded in the forests around Karuizawa. Copper pheasants are currently being researched.
In addition to protecting the bears, there are also guided outdoor tours where visitors can observe plants and animals such as wild boars, Japanese macaques (snow monkeys), and birds such as copper pheasants and woodpeckers. Some of the tours run at night. In particular, the giant flying squirrels can be observed, which are among the largest of their kind in the world.
This internship is aimed at students or professionals from the fields of biology, zoology, ecology, veterinary medicine and similar related disciplines.
Tasks for online interns are to participate in data analysis (photo traps, GPS) and to write articles / texts about the activities carried out in Karuizawa for scientific publications and general magazines/websites dealing with animals and environmental protection. The articles can be written in the online intern's native languages (in addition to English, German, French, Spanish, Chinese, etc.).
You can decide for yourself how many hours per week you are available for the virtual internship (6-40 hours per week are possible). This includes the time you need to work on tasks that your internship supervisor (biologist) gives you as well as the time you communicate online.
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