Contribution starting at $3,150
Exported from Streamline App (https://app.streamlineicons.com)
10 days (avg. $315 a day) Includes accommodations, food, and all related research costs
Wildlife & Ecosystems
Climate Change

Searching for Fossils and Fauna in Zambia

Location
South Luangwa National Park, Muchinga, Central, and Eastern Provinces, Zambia Map it
Lead Scientist
Activity Level
Moderate
Accommodations
Shared accommodations
Couples Rooms possible
Food
Special diets accommodated
Staff-prepared meals
Researchers believe that the key to protecting the incredible animal communities currently in this area can be uncovered by delving into the area’s past. | Earthwatch
Earthwatch participants will roam the park in a safari vehicle to record the spectacular diversity of animals found within, including kudu, eland (the world’s largest antelope), Cape buffalo, and crocodiles.
In the East African Rift Valley, the past meets the present as diverse mammal communities, live atop exposed fossil deposits. | Earthwatch
 By examining the bones of recently deceased animals, the area’s plentiful fossils, and the populations of animals currently living in the park, researchers will be able to investigate how mammalian communities have responded to climatic conditions over time.
Not only is the region the home of the world’s largest concentration of hippos, but it also has the largest population of lions and the only black rhino population in Zambia.
Hike off-trail through the river valley to search for the bones of recently deceased animals. You’ll record the type and location of each species, and other information about their condition.
While conservationists are working to preserve this extraordinary area, the increasingly devastating impacts of climate change threaten to wipe out endangered predators and permanently alter other animal communities.
Researchers believe that the key to protecting the incredible animal communities currently in this area can be uncovered by delving into the area’s past. | Earthwatch
Earthwatch participants will roam the park in a safari vehicle to record the spectacular diversity of animals found within, including kudu, eland (the world’s largest antelope), Cape buffalo, and crocodiles.
In the East African Rift Valley, the past meets the present as diverse mammal communities, live atop exposed fossil deposits. | Earthwatch
 By examining the bones of recently deceased animals, the area’s plentiful fossils, and the populations of animals currently living in the park, researchers will be able to investigate how mammalian communities have responded to climatic conditions over time.
Not only is the region the home of the world’s largest concentration of hippos, but it also has the largest population of lions and the only black rhino population in Zambia.
Hike off-trail through the river valley to search for the bones of recently deceased animals. You’ll record the type and location of each species, and other information about their condition.
While conservationists are working to preserve this extraordinary area, the increasingly devastating impacts of climate change threaten to wipe out endangered predators and permanently alter other animal communities.

Join researchers in the stunning Luangwa River Valley of eastern Zambia to search for bones, fossils, and living animals. These data will help researchers better understand how mammalian communities have shifted over time in response to climate change.


Join researchers in the stunning Luangwa River Valley of eastern Zambia to search for bones, fossils, and living animals. These data will help researchers better understand how mammalian communities have shifted over time in response to climate change. | EarthwatchIn the Luangwa River Valley, the past meets the present as diverse mammal communities, including antelopes, elephants, and even the endangered Thornicroft’s giraffe, live atop exposed fossil deposits. Cutting through the valley, the Luangwa River is the lifeblood of the whole region. Its spectacular ‘oxbow’ lagoons and flooded riverbanks attract some of the densest concentrations of animals in all of Africa. Not only is the region home to the world’s largest concentration of hippos, but it also hosts some of Africa’s largest populations of lions, leopards, and wild dogs.

While conservationists are working to preserve this extraordinary area, the increasingly devastating impacts of climate change threaten to wipe out endangered predators and permanently alter other animal communities. Researchers hypothesize that the key to protecting the incredible animal communities currently in this area can be uncovered by delving into the area’s past. By examining the bones of recently deceased animals, the area’s plentiful fossils, and the populations of animals currently living in the park, researchers will be able to investigate how mammalian communities have responded to climatic conditions over time. These insights will help researchers determine how to best preserve the area’s biodiversity in the face of today’s rapidly changing climate.

You’ll have the rare opportunity to hike off-trail through the breathtaking Luangwa River valley to help researchers uncover fossils and search for the bones of recently deceased animals. You’ll also roam the park in a safari vehicle to record the spectacular diversity of animals found within, including kudu, eland (the world’s largest antelope), Cape buffalo, and crocodiles. You’ll also see dozens of bird species along the way!

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A Typical Itinerary

  • Day 1: Arrival
  • Day 2: Orientation and intro to field work
  • Days 3–9: Field work, data entry, and debriefing with occasional lectures and opportunities for optional recreation activities
  • Day: 10 Depart

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HOW YOU WILL HELP

When you arrive, you’ll be trained in bone and fossil identification as well as survey methods. You’ll then use those skills to help researchers:

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From a safari vehicle, Earthwatch participants will search the park for animal communities, recording the species, number of animals present, and GPS coordinates of the animals you find.
Conduct Wildlife Surveys

From a safari vehicle, you’ll search the park for animal communities, recording the species, number of animals present, and GPS coordinates of the animals you find.

Hike off-trail through the river valley to search for the bones of recently deceased animals. Earthwatch participants willrecord the type and location of each species, and other information about their condition.
Conduct Bone Surveys

Accompanied by trained park scouts, you will hike off-trail through the river valley to search for the bones of recently deceased animals. You’ll record the type and location of each species, and other information about their condition.

Earthwatch participants will traverse fossil-rich areas to find exposed fossils. You’ll also assist in digs to search for fossils and sieve the excavated dirt.
Conduct Fossil Surveys

Accompanied by trained park scouts you’ll traverse fossil-rich areas to find exposed fossils. You’ll also assist in digs to search for fossils and sieve the excavated dirt.

 

Field conditions and research needs can lead to changes in the itinerary and activities. We appreciate your cooperation and understanding.

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FEEDBACK & QUESTIONS

Have a question?

If your question is not answered by one of our FAQs, please reach out to us and we will answer your question as soon as we can.

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