Volunteer Program Brazil

Spix’s Macaw Field Project Volunteer Program 2022 


ACTP (Association for the Conservation of Threatened Parrots), based in Berlin, Germany, has a captive breeding and field release project in Brazil for the Spix’s macaw (Cyanopsitta spixii). This project has been years in the making, intending to release the extinct in the wild Spix’s macaw back into its former habitat in the Caatinga, in North East Brazil. The last wild Spix’s macaw disappeared in the year 2000; there has been a frantic ongoing project to breed the only remaining birds in captivity to produce enough to start a release program. After much research and effort, the Spix’s macaw is now in the position where a release is imminent. In fact, 2022 is the year when the first Spix’s macaws in 22 years will grace the skies again. Bringing back their calls to a habitat and community that have been lost without it.


Location & Activities

This project is in a remote location in Bahia state, Brazil. The nearest town is Curaçá (1-hour drive on rough dirt roads), and the nearest airport is in the City of Petrolina (just over an hour further on tar roads). In this location, wildlife abounds. Due to the remote location supply runs to the city are done as needed, usually once every 2 weeks. We are in the Southern hemisphere, Summer (October-April), and Winter (May-September). Summer is Hot and Wet (rain season Dec-March), Winter is Hot and Dry.


Activities generally will include:

  • • Feeding the captive population
  • • Supplying supplementary feeding for the wild population
  • • Monitoring the wild population (nests, individuals, etc.)
  • • Other fieldwork research activities
  • • Maintaining aviaries and facilities
  • • Providing enrichment for the captive birds
  • • During the breeding season, nest activities and potential chick-rearing activities
  • • Building aviaries, nest boxes, and other essentials for the project
  • • Habitat restoration related works


Expectations & Facilities

• ACTP will supply basic food ingredients (rice, milk, bread, coffee, tea, margarine, butter, sugar), potable water, accommodation, and travel from the airport in Petrolina to the field project site as well as the return. 

• Opportunities to get to the city will also be available on supply runs. 

• Any further travels within Brazil are at your cost, we can line up visits to other field projects if you are interested.

• The volunteer program runs at 3-month intervals.

• You will be expected to be available 5 days a week, you can however accumulate your 2 days a week off to use on field trips to other projects or travels within Brazil.

• You will need to cook for yourself, preparing your own meals. You will be able to use what is available in the store of basic ingredients, anything over that you will need to provide for yourself purchases can be made on supply runs. Please make a note of any allergies, medical conditions, and food preferences you may have in your application.

• This position and project are remote and in a fairly harsh environment, you will need to be fit and able to bend and pick up objects that may exceed 25 kgs.

• You will be expected to keep your accommodation clean, there is no one to come behind you and clean for you. 


The accommodation includes:

  • • Kitchen
  • • Lounge and dining area
  • • WiFi
  • • Full bathroom (Shower, basin, toilet) on-suite to each bedroom.


Each bedroom is set up for 2 people, under most scenarios you will have your own room, but might need to share if there is an overlap period or event. Be prepared for wildlife encounters. This could include the cute and cuddly-looking creatures, but also the snakes, spiders, and scorpions… so please be prepared for the wild.

How to Apply

1. Submit a 1 A4-page CV detailing you experiences you may already have.
2. Submit a 1 A4-page cover letter, summarizing your reason for wanting to be involved in this project and why you think you are a good candidate.
3. Submit any medical conditions, medications you are taking, or allergies that could affect you during your stay (this is for your protection, as we are in a remote location and having prior warning of medical situations could be important).
4. Travel costs and medical insurance for the duration of your stay are at your own expense.
5. It is your responsibility to check your visa and vaccination requirements to travel to Brazil.
6. Applications can be submitted by email to volunteer@act-parrots.eu
7. You will be required to sign contracts related to images and content use, these will be made available by email to successful candidates, failure to do so will forfeit your application acceptance.