Earthwatch Unveils Four More New Expeditions
Join us to better understand finches in the Galapagos or track lions through Botswana. Explore the possibilities today.
Take a peek at our new expeditions below:
Help save some of Africa’s most iconic species.
Visit a place where lions still stalk the grasslands, wild dogs roam in packs, and cheetahs fearlessly chase their prey. This is the Kavango–Zambezi Transboundary Protected Area (KAZA), a massive swath of protected land that stretches over five countries and is Africa’s best hope for keeping its wilderness alive.
But even in northern Botswana, home to some of the KAZA’s most remote wilderness, lion and African wild dog populations are declining, following the sad trends observed in more populated areas. And scientists don’t have enough information on cheetahs, leopards, many small carnivores, and the prey species on which these carnivores depend to know how they are faring. This information is critical if we hope to understand the threats to the African savanna.
Join a team that will collect this vital information. Help capture lions, leopards, and other predators, then fit them with tracking collars and take samples for genetic analysis. Traverse the near-pristine landscapes to monitor camera traps and survey vegetation. Observe animals by spotlight at night and near waterholes by day. And as you work to protect it, get closer to wild Africa than any safari will take you.
Join us in Botswana to help protect lions and leopards in this remote corner of the globe.
How are foods introduced by humans literally changing the face of the finches?
Help save these historically and scientifically important birds by traveling to one of the world’s most amazing places: the Galápagos Archipelago. Finches there have evolved to have a tight link between beak size and shape and the seeds they eat. But the abundance of human-introduced foods like rice seems to be eroding this link and creating a population of “lazy” birds—finches that don’t have to work hard to find the right food for their beak size and shape. This may undermine the process of natural selection that keeps a species strong.
You’ll study the finches that live in and around Puerto Ayora on the island of Santa Cruz, the biggest town in the islands, to help researchers find out more about how human foods and finch evolution are intertwined. You’ll help catch birds, measure their beak size, head size, and body dimensions, and photograph them for later analysis. You’ll also look at the other side of the equation by recording the types and abundance of finch foods available in different spots. With your help, these researchers can figure out the best ways to preserve the distinct species of finch that Darwin once found so illuminating.
Book your trip to the Galapagos to help protect these important birds.
What is really going on with the creatures you see scampering in your garden?
If you live in a city, you know that urban areas are full of wild creatures. You also know that sharing space with animals can cause problems: tipped-over trash cans, bites out of the basil, and more serious issues like disease.
Join our researchers in Reading or Brighton to find out how we can live in better balance with the mammals who share our urban space. You'll specifically focus on the whereabouts and well-being of three common English city-dwellers: hedgehogs, foxes, and badgers. With a better understanding of why urban animal populations thrive or decline, the scientists can help conserve declining species (the hedgehog) and figure out how to mitigate conflicts with others (the fox and the badger).
This is your chance to become acquainted with creatures who may have been mere strangers until now. You'll set up and check camera traps to see what creatures appear when no one is looking, and explore green spaces for signs of fox and badger dens. You'll also check for hedgehogs in gardens by monitoring tracking tunnels, which capture footprints as animals walk through them. And you'll get to know some of the human inhabitants of these cities as well—you'll ask residents about sightings and their perceptions of the study species.
Join the waitlist for this first-of-its-kind investigation!
Help discover and protect this delicate Alpine environment from climate change, and from ourselves.
In the high slopes of the French Pyrenees, as in other mountain regions, climate change has already begun to alter the landscape. Some species are moving to higher latitudes, and some have begun to decline. The ways humans use the land also causes shifts in the nature order of things, but little research has been done on how people have impacted this particular place. Questions of how climate change and human encroachment will continue to alter this alpine world are far from being answered.
While trekking through this striking landscape, you’ll be among the first to search for these answers. Not much is known about the amazing biodiversity of the forests and alpine meadows, and your team will help identify the key species in the ecosystem and how they are changing. You will weigh and measure small mammals, find tawny owls and other bird species by spotting their nests and listening for their songs, observe bumblebees as they visit flowering plants, and detect bats. These tasks will help researchers find out how animals are faring and when natural events, like plant flowering and pollination, are occurring. Understanding the timing of such processes can help scientists learn if species’ life cycles are becoming out of synch with each other, which could have serious consequences for the health of this ecosystem.
Join the waitlist to discover signs of climate change in one of the world’s most fragile and beautiful places.
Book your expedition and have the experience of a lifetime. You can explore all of our nine new expeditions for 2014 on our site.