Wildlife Monitor - Ospreycam Research

The Woodland Trust

Scotland (home based)

Volunteer • Part Time


Sectors: conservation & wildlife

Closing date: Not specified, apply soon!

The ancient Caledonian pine forest to the south of Loch Arkaig is the latest exciting acquisition to the Woodland Trust estate in Scotland. We are working with the local community group Arkaig Community Forest, to restore this degraded forest slowly and sensitively over time. It’s already a haven for native wildlife (raptors, otters, red squirrels and more live here).

But some areas of the forest have been planted with non-native tree species whilst others have been overgrazed by deer. We want to gather baseline information about what wildlife lives here and we’ve set up a simple monitoring programme to do this. This role is specifically monitoring the camera set up at the Osprey nest, and to follow on from the successful breeding of the pair in 2017.

Ospreys have travelled from Africa to Arkaig for many years, and a pair was seen at our nest site for several years but for unknown reasons they did not successfully raise a brood of chicks in 2015 or 2016. However, we were incredibly lucky in our 1st year of having a camera in place, a new, young pair arrived, Louis and Aila, and they successfully raised one male chick, named Lachlan by people commenting on our website’s very popular osprey live feed page.

This role is to support our work to record the life of our osprey family by reviewing and ‘snipping’ the best bits of footage from our camera.

The monitoring project in 2017 worked incredibly well, with a team of 15 volunteers successfully capturing key moments in our osprey family’s progress, edited from video footage on our camera server. These clips were used in Woodland Trust social media and on our website and generated a huge amount of online interest. The camera proved to be a great success in raising awareness of the Woodland Trust to new audiences so this is a very important volunteer role for us. 

We are optimistic our pair will return at the end of March 2018 and hope they breed successfully. Local ecologists have rebuilt the nest in 2017 strengthening its support and adding an extra perch that will hopefully make it more attractive as a nest site. The nest has a camera positioned next to it.

This role is a great opportunity for you to support this programme and get a glimpse into the fascinating life of an osprey pair who have been returning to Loch Arkaig to nest for almost a decade. We would expect you to have regular interaction with your nominated volunteer manager, which in most cases would be the Trust’s site manager.

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