RESEARCH WITH INDIGO

Contribute to longterm conservation research in the cloud forests of Alta Verapaz, Guatemala, Central America.

RESEARCH WITH INDIGO

Contribute to longterm conservation research in the cloud forests of Alta Verapaz, Guatemala, Central America.

RESEARCH WITH INDIGO

Contribute to longterm conservation research in the cloud forests of Alta Verapaz, Guatemala, Central America.

RESEARCH WITH INDIGO

Contribute to longterm conservation research in the cloud forests of Alta Verapaz, Guatemala, Central America.

RESEARCH WITH INDIGO

Contribute to longterm conservation research in the cloud forests of Alta Verapaz, Guatemala, Central America.

Contribute to longterm conservation research in the cloud forests of Alta Verapaz, Guatemala.
Are you a student looking for a dissertation project? Or a recent graduate looking to increase your field experience?

Research with Indigo and contribute to long term conservation efforts in Guatemala. You’ll survey in multiple habitat types including agricultural fields, river banks, pine-oak forest, and cloud forest in Alta Verapaz, assessing the differences in the behaviour of reptiles, as well as species composition and diversity, between these varying habitats.

The reptile species assemblage here includes several endemic and rare species such as Guatemalan coffee snake, yellow-blotched palm pitviper, cloud forest parrot snake, and brilliant alligator lizard.

The cloud forests are also home to several species of critically endangered frogs including: Pokomchi spikethumb frog, Quecchi spikethumb frog, Alta Verapaz spikethumb frog, montane robber frog, and Xucaneb robber frog. Other amphibians include Müller’s climbing salamander, black-eyed treefrogs, and Northern glassfrogs.

Indigo Expeditions Wildlife Research & Endangered Species Conservation in Guatemala

Brilliant alligator lizard.

Indigo Expeditions Wildlife Research & Endangered Species Conservation in Guatemala

Guatemalan coffee snake.

RESEARCH WITH INDIGO

Indigo Expeditions Wildlife Research & Endangered Species Conservation in Guatemala
Indigo Expeditions Wildlife Research & Endangered Species Conservation in Guatemala

Yellow-blotched palm pitviper.

RESEARCH PROJECTS

Research with Indigo and discover the mysterious cloud forests of Alta Verapaz and contribute to longterm conservation projects.
We have developed a unique training programme offering our Volunteer Researchers invaluable experience in tropical field biology to support them with their future careers in conservation.

As a Volunteer Researcher with Indigo, for the first 2 weeks you’ll be involved in both terrestrial and riparian surveys for reptiles and amphibians. You will have the opportunity to:

  • Develop your field herpetology skills,
  • Evolve your understanding of reptile & amphibian biology,
  • Learn ethical & respectful animal handling methods, and
  • Contribute to the conservation of biodiversity in the Cloud Forests of Alta Verapaz,
  • Develop a deeper appreciation of the amazing creatures that we share this planet with.

For the remainder of your research time with us, you’ll have the opportunity to explore your own research interests as part of your own career and academic development.

Research Projects

As a Volunteer Researcher with Indigo Expeditions you can expect to receive unprecedented support not only in the run up to, and during your research project, but also afterwards during your writing up period.

We aim to assign each Volunteer Researcher their own project. These are all designed with subsequent publication in mind. Our team will work with you to help analyse the project data and craft manuscripts for submission to scientific journals.

Rowland Griffin

Director, Indigo Expeditions

Current Projects

  • Endangered Amphibians: Collect and analyse population data from amphibians found in a selection of remaining cloud forest fragments and agroecology areas.
  • Endemic Reptiles: Collect and analyse population data from reptiles found in a selection of remaining cloud forest fragments and agroecology areas.
  • Snake Behaviour: Explore the behavioural ecology of rarely seen cloud forest snake species.
Indigo Expeditions Wildlife Research & Endangered Species Conservation in Guatemala
Indigo Expeditions Wildlife Research & Endangered Species Conservation in Guatemala
Indigo Expeditions Wildlife Research & Endangered Species Conservation in Guatemala
Indigo Expeditions Wildlife Research & Endangered Species Conservation in Guatemala

FAQs

Your questions answered
DO I NEED EXPERIENCE?
Our Conservation Research Projects are open to anyone with an interest in the natural world, who wants to make a positive contribution to conservation.
Which Species?
The area is highly biodiverse with over 50 species of amphibians and reptiles. 100’s of birds from eagles and hawks, to hummingbirds and trogons – even the quetzal has been heard here!
Other striking species
Since 2014 Indigo Field Teams have recorded a total of 36 species of reptiles and amphibians. Among some of the most striking are alligator lizards, helmeted iguanas, and palm pitvipers.
Research Location
Our expedition visits the educational and research facility of Community Cloud Forest Conservation (CCFC) located in a secluded valley a few kilometres east of Coban, in the region of Alta Verapaz.
Accommodation
A comfortable shared dorm awaits you, with its own bathroom and even hot water heated by the wood burning stoves in the kitchen. Wake up each morning to a stunning sunrise over the Xucaneb Mountains as the morning mist rises revealing the breath-taking cloud forest.
Cost Includes
From the time you are picked up by the Indigo Team in Guatemala, all in-country transport, accommodation, food, water & field training is provided! All you need to do is cover your flight to Guatemala City, grab your travel insurance, and cover any extra sundries.
Research Project Cost
8 Weeks £3,995 exc.flights
2021 Dates

5 July to 30 August. 8 August to 30 September.

Places
Small research project groups. Places limited to 6.

Notes

QUECCHI CULTURE

The Quecchi are the largest of the contemporary Mayan groups in Guatemala. While they like to keep to themselves, they are also very welcoming and you will leave having made many new friends. Typical of Mayans, the Quecchi of Alta Verapaz are renowned for their rich and beautiful weavings, which often depict animals such as deer and of course the quetzal, Guatemala’s national bird.

Outside of the bigs towns, like Cobán and Santa Cruz, most Quecchi still live in small villages high in the mountains, and rely on subsistence farming as a way of providing for their families.

CONSERVATION

Since 2014 we have surveyed the populations of amphibians and reptiles at Community Cloud Forest Conservation (CCFC), an organisation committed to alleviating poverty and protecting forests through education, and reforestation.

We have found 53 species of amphibians and reptiles during our conservation surveys, as part of our amphibian project to support ecological improvements to agriculture.

Many of the amphibians and reptiles at CCFC are endemic to the mountains of the Central Highlands and are considered in danger of extinction.

COOLER CLIMATE

The mountains have a pleasant climate for most of the year, with temperatures generally reaching a maximum of 28 degrees centigrade on warm days. Most mornings start wrapped in clouds, something well worth getting out of bed to witness. Usually it rains for about an hour in the afternoons, especially in the rainy season, but expect the clouds to come in at any time of day.

The combination of regular rain followed by sun make for a spectacularly green and luscious forest, and a paradise for biodiversity.

Explore Alta Verapaz

The heart of the cloud forest region of the Central Highlands, and home to Guatemala’s national bird, the resplendent quetzal. 40% of the amphibian species in Alta Verapaz are found nowhere else in the world.
Alta Verapaz is the heart of the cloud forest region of the Central Highlands of Guatemala. The forests of Alta Verapaz are unique and not only home to the country’s national bird, the resplendent quetzal, but also to many species of endangered amphibians. About 40% of amphibians in Alta Verapaz are found nowhere else on the planet.

Over the last few decades much of the forest in Alta Verapaz has been lost to ever expanding agriculture. This expansion has been driven in part by the highest population growth rates in Guatemala and Central America. As the forest is lost, the tree’s no longer form the clouds from which the habitat gets its name. This means the land tends to dry out and crops fail, causing more deforestation.

Indigo Expeditions work closely with Community Cloud Forest Conservation to help better understand how agroecology practices can be used to both alleviate poverty and provide viable habitat for endangered wildlife. We believe that be working in partnership with nature we can provide for this, and future, generations.

Testimonials

I want to thank you very much for this amazing (I hope not once in a lifetime) experience. I am also very grateful for your patience and teaching me and sharing so much invaluable knowledge with me.

This adventure will certainly have a huge positive effect in my career for a herpetologist. I still can’t believe how many wonderful and unique species we were able to see and how much did I learn from them.

I wish you all the best in your current and future projects, and as a Guatemalan, thank you very much for what you are doing for this country and its unique nature.

Dani Gygax

We all knew after the brilliant experience I had last year in Petén that I’d be back in Guatemala with you. Due to your efforts I have had the trip of a lifetime.

My time in the field so far has been spectacular. I have seen and learnt so much, made good friends, and will be leaving with a great set of data and the confidence that should lead to a brilliant dissertation.

It is a shame these two months are drawing to a close but I can’t wait to share the stories of the wonderful summer of herping.

Matt

Researcher

Research with indigo