ABC Project Internship x3

African Bat Conservation

Lilongwe, Malawi

Volunteer • Full Time [email protected] Angelena Efstathiou

Sectors: conservation & wildlife, ecology

Closing date: Not specified, apply soon!

African Bat Conservation (ABC) is a non-profit conservation research project based in Malawi, operating under UK Charity Conservation Research Africa (CRA) and in partnership with the University of the West of England, UK. ABC works in collaboration with and the Department of National Parks and Wildlife Malawi (DNPW) to conduct three core activities:

  1. Applied research for wildlife conservation management: to determine and monitor bat population trends, assess species threats and provide conservation recommendations; as well as a number of smaller student projects to facilitate and inform long-term conservation management of bat populations and their habitats. Project results are used to update IUCN species status reports and assist DNPW in long-term population monitoring and protected area management.
  2. Education and awareness of bats and biodiversity and related issues through comprehensive community based education programmes, human-wildlife conflict surveys and teacher training workshops in collaboration with LWT and their Eco-schools programme.
  3. Capacity building: to increase project effectiveness and long-term success by building capacity in ecological research, biodiversity monitoring and management for DNPW through training courses, attachment programmes and postgraduate research projects at MSc and PhD level.


African Bat Conservation conducts research on bats across Malawi both at field sites and in urban areas of Lilongwe as part of our long term applied conservation research project. We conduct bat monitoring and research (mist netting, roost surveys and bat box programmes, and at certain times of year radio tracking bats in the urban environment) in Lilongwe and community outreach visits to respond to calls for assistance with human-bat conflict, providing advice and practical human-bat conflict mitigation. We are currently recruiting for three ABC Project Internships: Bioacoustics Intern, Roost Monitoring Project Intern and an Eidolon Project Intern. 

Our internship program is for researchers wanting to gain hands on experience with bats and develop their skills We are looking for someone with:

Organisational skills: We are looking for someone who is highly organised and practical, with an eye for detail.

Enthusiasm: We are looking for someone who is highly motivated and passionate about conservation.

Management skills: You must have excellent time management skills and experience of managing data correctly.

Maturity and Professionalism is a must, as well as the ability to work maintain the motivation and research output despite the many daily challenges of working in Malawi.

The position requires that you work at any of our sites as per project needs. Work is on demand, with long hours, working a 6 day week. Being a conservation organisation we do not have regular office hours, so you will be required to conduct work as required by the project demand, including night work. Therefore you will need to be willing to work in the field at night, out of hours according to the programme need and have a positive can do attitude. This post offers an excellent opportunity for career development.

All post-holders will work under the supervision of our Research Manager and alongside our ABC Community Outreach Team and: 

I. Attend and contribute to project meetings every week

II. Be flexible in the hours worked to fluctuating demand

III. Work closely and co-operatively with other team members and partner organisations

IV. Fulfil all administrative requirements on time and accurately

V. Maintain accurate records of work activities and data entry

VI. Contribute to project reports, newsletters, bulletins etc as required

> ABC Bioacoustics Project Intern: 

Conduct field work at night and in the day including:

I. bat harp trapping and mist netting

II. bat acoustic surveys (SM3/4detectors)

III. conduct acoustic analysis of bat calls in the ABC Call Library

IV. maintain, summarise and store data in a database

V. identify parameter of calls for individual bat species

VI. assist in the creation of call classifiers

> ABC Roost Monitoring Project Intern:  

Conduct field work at night and in the day including:

I. roost surveys (internal, external, emergence counts and hand netting)

II. bat acoustic surveys (SM3/4detectors)

III. management and install/advise regarding conflict mitigation

IV. accurately maintain, summarise and store data in a database

V. create and edit habitat and roost maps in ArcGIS

VI. site visits and outreach, to educate about bat conservation

> ABC Eidolon Project Intern: 

Conduct field work at night and in the day including:

I. bat mist netting and radio tracking (including ground truthing of fixes)

II. weekly counts at the main roosting site

III. collecting splat samples for dietary analysis

IV. create and edit habitat and roost maps in ArcGIS

V. site visits and community outreach to educate about bat conservation

VI. vegetation surveys to understand foraging and roost tree selection



  • Positive can do attitude with mature approach
  • BSc in conservation biology, zoology, biology or related field (applicants without will be considered if they have sufficient field experience)
  • Experience of working and living in field based environments, preferably in Africa
  • Experience of field research (particularly with bats)
  • A confident communicator who is able to relate well to people from diverse backgrounds and cultures
  • Experience of working with volunteers from diverse backgrounds
  • Proven experience of working co-operatively as part of a team
  • Maturity, and a positive mental attitude, resilient, ability to muck in and get on with it
  • Ability to work independently under minimal supervision
  • Experience of data collection under minimal supervision
  • Hard work ethic, flexible and conscientious approach
  • Enthusiasm and self motivation for working on applied conservation research


  • Experienced in radio tracking, tagging, harp trapping and mist netting bats
  • Experience in dealing with human wildlife conflict
  • Driving licence and experience of off road driving with 4x4
  • Experience of managing own workload and taking responsibility for projects
  • Experience of ArcGIS mapping, digitising and home range analysis
  • Experience of R software for statistical analysis and data presentation

Contract Conditions

Timing: These are 6 month positions commencing in May 2021 (Bioacoustics and Roost Monitoring), the Eidolon position is for October 2021.

Hours: Full time flexible working hours, on average 6 days per week, with night work.

Location: The location is flexible according to our project needs so you will be based at either our research camp in Lilongwe, Kuti Wildlife Reserve or any other site as required.

Accommodation: In Lilongwe the post holder will be based at the ABC research offices and staff house in a shared room. There is a living area, kitchen, showers and compost toilets. In the field you will be sharing a walk in safari tent with beds with another staff member.

Conditions: ABC will provide 3 basic meals a day, accommodation and bills, work related travel and airport transfers. You will be required to cover your own flights, food, visas, insurance and vaccinations.

Application process

To apply please download an application form from and send a completed ABC Internship  Application Form with a Covering Letter (outlining why you think you would be suitable for the post) and a CV (if you wish) to Angelena at [email protected]

Further project information





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