Himalayan Mountain Conservation Internships
You can intern on our Conservation & Environment project in Nepal in the spectacular Annapurna Mountain range in the Himalayas, where our partners work with a national conservation organisation, Annapurna Conservation Area Project (ACAP). The Annapurna conservation project area is home to unique wildlife such as the common leopard, leopard cat, Himalayan black bear, barking deer and several bird species including numerous endangered species of vultures.
With Nepal’s third largest city Pokhara based at the foothills of the mountain range, the area provides interns the chance of a life time to work within the Himalayan mountains about three hours away from a beautiful city.
Interns can take part in a number of activities like:
- Wildlife research – as with any conservation area it is vital to monitor the populations of wild animals. Falling populations of wild animals or population shifts where certain species begin to dominate an ecosystem are indicators that an area is under pressure from human activity. We consider it fundamental to gather this information and create a strong database which we can use in designing conservation strategies. Our surveying techniques include sensor camera traps, walking surveys and scat identification.
- Endangered Species – we place a strong emphasis on researching threatened and endangered species. Nepal is home to some of the rarest and most elusive animals on the planet and we have already caught images of leopards, bears and civets on our cameras.
- Nepal is home to 867 species of bird, a staggering 8% of the world’s total and we are committed to researching these species. 35 of these species are globally threatened and we use different surveying techniques to study them. To date we have identified over 200 species in the area and have published research papers on rare species such as the Pied Thrush.
- Butterfly Project – Lepidotera (butterflies and moths) are the second most diverse group of insects, and hence animals, on the planet and we are committed to researching them. We are currently creating an inventory of species and studying which are resident and which migratory to the area around Ghandruk
- Herpetology Study – whilst a mountain area the Annapurna area is home to 40 species of reptile and 23 species of amphibian. Using pitfall traps, night walks and opportunistic encounters we are compiling a list for the area around Ghandruk and researching which habitats suit which species.
- Rubbish collection – this activity is important in the area. With the help of the local community, we often clean the river, forest and the village. This activity teaches the locals about the importance of recycling rubbish (glasses, plastic bottles) and the harmful effect of pollution in natural habitats.
- Our green house project – we have a small organic vegetable garden located next to the hostel, which volunteers help to look after.
- Conservation education – running workshops and events in the community. This work often depends on your interests and length of stay. On certain occasions we also arrange anti-poaching education in the village.
- Community activities – these vary from learning how to cook traditional Nepalese dishes, to helping with planting tea or rice, learning local crafts or maintenance work like fixing steps when areas are damaged by water or livestock.
Our volunteers will undergo training and a comprehensive induction in Pokhara by our Projects Abroad staff to ensure each volunteer understands what each project involves and its contribution to the management of the area. Each programme contributes to the overall aim of preserving and enhancing biodiversity in the region.
Given the variation in Nepal’s climate – with the wet season from June to September and the dry season from October to June – these activities may not be possible at all times. Work on the projects will be arranged depending on the season and the weather conditions.
The Annapurna Conservation project’s primary goal is to preserve and enhance the natural resources within the area along with aiding social development in Ghandruk. The area is rich in biodiversity and is a treasure house for 1,233 species of flowering plants, 102 mammals, 488 birds, 40 reptiles and 23 amphibians.
The geography and biodiversity of Nepal is unique. Its habitats are diverse; ranging from tropical forests to high altitude mountainous areas. With Nepal being home to the world’s largest mountain, Mount Everest, and having over 240 peaks over 20,000 feet, many of the conservation struggles are being fought within these areas.
Due to the pressures of human encroachment, climate change and loss of habitat these areas are being continuously threatened causing loss of biodiversity and environmental degradation.
Due to the sheer size of the management area, volunteers will stay in a family-run hostel in Ghandruk, located about 3 hours away from Pokhara. Although the facilities are very basic, you’ll be waking up each morning to stunning views of the Himalayas.
Living in Ghandruk will give you a unique cultural experience and meals will be provided at the hostel each day. As all Conservation volunteers live in the same hostel there will always be other people around to work and socialise with.
Pokhara is one of Nepal’s most popular destinations amongst trekkers and tourists looking for an adventure in the Himalayas, however, it offers a more tranquil and relaxed urban environment than Kathmandu.
Please note that the project involves a lot of walking and hiking, so a reasonable level of physical fitness is an advantage.
Additional Program Info
The Himalayan Mountain Conservation internship on BridgEd powered by Projects Abroad can be done for a duration of 4 weeks or 8 weeks, with the choice to extend on a per-week basis
4 weeks – INR 170,500
8 weeks – INR 238,500
Extra week – INR 17,000
The fees charged are used to cover the cost of your experience on our programs abroad. This fee covers:
- Travel to and from the airport
- Travel and health insurance
- Food and accommodation
- support and guidance as well as 24-hour emergency back-up from our local office in your destination
- all information before and during your time with us overseas
These fees do not include flights and visas where applicable.
- Prep Work 0
- Work Ex. 0
- Duration 50 hours
- Skill level All levels
- Language English
- Students 0
- Assessments Yes