Bird Conservationist

Mauritian Wildlife Foundation


Volunteer • Full Time

Sectors: conservation & wildlife, ecology

Closing date: Monday, 4th July 2022   7 days left

Bird Conservationists

Work to save Mauritian bird species from extinction: this is an exciting opportunity to work with some of the most successful conservation projects in the world, recognized internationally amongst conservationists.

The successful applicant will benefit from training in theoretical and practical species conservation. This position best suits those looking to contribute to the global conservation effort, work in a team, challenge themselves and gain new skills and experiences.

Our projects

We have five long-term projects that focus on the conservation of our most threatened endemic bird species i.e., these species are found nowhere else in the world. All five species populations declined dramatically post colonisation due to habitat destruction and introduced predator and competitor species along with a host of other factors.

Conservation techniques utilised by the Mauritian Wildlife Foundation to date include clutch and brood manipulations, captive breeding, captive rearing, reintroductions, the provision of supplementary food, the provision of artificial nest sites, control of introduced species and close monitoring of the population.

The Mauritian Wildlife Foundation has had great success restoring each of these species’ populations, but there is much work left to be done to secure their long-term survival. This is our main mission at the Mauritian Wildlife Foundation, to save species from extinction.

Kestrel project Conservation Biologists (ref: KPCB – 2022)

The Mauritius Kestrel (Falco punctatus) is the only surviving bird of prey in Mauritius. The species was reduced to four known wild individuals in 1974 and was considered one of the rarest birds in the world. Emergency measures were taken to save the species. Intensive conservation management actions were initiated as of the late 1980s, and as a result, the Mauritius Kestrel population has risen to some 350 birds today and is listed as Endangered.

Pink Pigeon project Conservation Biologists (ref: PPCB – 2022)

The Pink Pigeon (Nesoenas mayeri) population was only 10 individuals in 1990 and was restricted to one small area of forest. Today, due to intensive conservation work, there are over 500 individuals in the wild spread over nine subpopulations. The Pink Pigeon is now listed as Vulnerable.

Echo Parakeet project Conservation Biologists (ref: EPCB – 2022)

Echo Parakeets (Psittacula eques) are a medium sized parakeet, and only surviving parrot species in the Mascarenes. By the end of the 1980's, around 20 Echo Parakeets remained, making it then the rarest parrot in the world. Intensive conservation management actions taken from that point have led to a dramatic increase in the population, today there are some 800 birds in the wild. The Echo Parakeet is now listed as Vulnerable.

Mauritius Olive White-eye project Conservation Biologists (ref: MOWE – 2022) and Mauritius Fody project Conservation Biologists (ref: MF – 2022)

The Mauritius Fody (Foudia rubra) and Mauritius Olive White-eye (Zosteropschloronothos) are small songbirds. The management of both specieshas included ‘marooning’ birds from the mainland on the offshore island of Ile aux Aigrettes tocreate a new subpopulation. The Mauritius Fody is listed as Endangered, and the Olive White-eye islisted as Critically Endangered.

The position

The day-to-day work of a Bird Conservationist is to monitor and manage their assigned species. Monitoring gives us an indication of the status of the population and whether our conservations actions are effective, management is the conservation actions we apply to restore our species.

The work varies according to the species, but broadly most species projects involve searching for territories and nests, monitoring nests, capturing and ringing all individuals, identifying all individuals based on their unique ring combinations, providing supplementary food, conducting predator control etc. All projects mainly consist of practical activities, outdoors, in the forest. Bird conservationist positions also require a lot of time searching for, and observing birds in the forest, and recording all observations in a scientific manner.

The Echo Parakeet and Mauritius Kestrel projects are the most physically demanding projects, involving rope climbing, and hiking with heavy rucksacks within the Black River Gorges National Park and the Bambou range.

Qualifications / requirements

All projects

We are looking for applicants that have the following qualities/experience:

  • Qualifications or experience relevant to the position and over 21 years old.
  • Good level of physical fitness and stamina (ability to walk long distances and carry heavy loads).
  • Experience working outdoors (especially hiking and navigation in the forest and in difficult terrain).
  • Ability to work alone, in all weather, in remote and rugged locations.
  • Full, clean driving licence. Experience of 4x4 off-road driving.
  • Strong observation skills and patience.
  • Good practical skills.
  • Good communicator – written and oral.
  • Strong initiative and independence; must be able to work unsupervised on a day-to-day basis.
  • Ability to live and work with teams and persons from different backgrounds in remote arduous conditions.
  • Flexible and adaptable to changing conditions and situations.
  • Willing to live in field stations, on site, in the forests of the Black River Gorges National Park / Bambou range / Ile aux Aigrettes from Monday to Saturday.
  • Must not be colour blind.
  • Proven interest in wildlife conservation and the environment.

additional qualities required for the Echo Parakeet and Mauritius Kestrel projects

  • Have no fear of heights.
  • Climbing experience / a willingness to learn how to climb.
  • A full motorbike licence, or willingness to learn to drive a motorbike.

Summary of terms and conditions of employment

Location: Black River Gorges National Park / Bambou range / Ile aux Aigrettes

Conditions: These will be discussed at interview as they will vary depending on the age and experience of the applicant

Policies and procedures: We have policies designed to ensure the well-being of both workers and volunteers e.g., Accommodation, vehicles etc.

Recruitment & Selection process

Shortlisted applicants will be contacted by e-mail, which will be followed by an interview for the strongest candidates.

How to apply

  • Follow the link at the apply button below.
  • For any queries e-mail at [email protected].

We invite you to visit our website for further information on the projects and on theMauritian Wildlife Foundation.

Find out more & apply