Bird Conservationist Volunteer

Mauritian Wildlife Foundation

Mauritius

Volunteer • Full Time

www.mauritian-wildlife.org

Sectors: conservation & wildlife, ecology

Closing date: Friday, 31st May 2024  


Job brief

  • Work to save Mauritian bird species from extinction!
  • Gain hands-on bird conservation experience in the forests of Mauritius.
  • Training received.

Main responsibilities

  • Searching for territories and nests.
  • Monitoring bird movements and behaviours.
  • Capture and ringing of all individuals.
  • Identification of all individuals using leg rings.
  • Providing supplementary food.
  • Data entry and report writing.

Requirements

  • At least 21 years old.
  • A BSc in a Biological Science.
  • Manual driving licence is an advantage.
  • Experience / proven interest in conservation.
  • Can work outdoors in all conditions.
  • Physically active.

Location

Black River Gorges National Park / Bambou mountains / Ile aux Aigrettes

Conditions

  • Accommodation and local transportation free of charge.
  • Travel insurance and medical tests reimbursed.

Recruitment and selection process

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

How to apply

To apply, follow this link.

For any queries e-mail at [email protected].

For more information, please visit our website.

Supplementary information

The successful applicant will benefit from training in theoretical and practical species conservation and will receive certificates for certain modules. This position best suits those that are passionate about nature and its protection, can work in a team, can challenge themselves and are looking to gain new skills and experiences.

Duration

Posts for overseas conservationists are for a minimum of 6 months with some posts with a contract for 12 months renewable.

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 – 2024)

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 – 2024)

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 – 2024)

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.

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. Staff on the Mauritius Kestrel project need to ride motorbikes to access sites and it is an advantage on the Echo Parakeet project.