Petites annonces

01 avr. 2019 Mauritian Wildlife Foundation Passerine project Conservation Biologists

Project background/ purpose
The Mauritian Wildlife Foundation is actively involved with international partners like the Chester Zoo, UK and the Institute of Zoology, London, UK in the species recovery programmes for the Mauritius Cuckoo-shrike (Coracina typica), Mauritius Fody (Foudia rubra) and the Mauritius Olive White-eye (Zosterops chloronothos).
The widespread forest loss and the introduction of various species that predate eggs and chicks have had a huge impact on the endemic birds of Mauritius, especially the passerines.
For both the Mauritius Fody and Mauritius Olive White-eye the management of the populations has included ‘marooning’ of new sub-populations on the off shore island of Ile aux Aigrettes (IAA). There are now well-established populations of Mauritius Fody and Mauritius Olive White-eye on IAA and plans are underway to replicate this success on other islands in Mauritius.
Ongoing research, supported by the ringing of populations on IAA, has increased knowledge of the ecology and breeding behaviour of these birds which has been applied to the conservation management of other populations.
A key area of current research on the mainland is investigating the best methods for rat control and predator control in general. The long-term aim of this research is to be able to create ‘mainland islands’ which are kept at a low enough predator density that endemic passerines are able to successfully breed and fledge young.
In 2015 the Mauritius Cuckoo-shrike population was estimated to be 250 individuals, most of which were restricted to just 36 km² of relatively intact native forest in Brise Fer, Black River Gorges National Park. Ferney Valley, in the Bambous mountain range, was identified as a suitable translocation site for this species to create a safety population.

The population in Brise Fer is monitored, territories identified and nests found. Eggs are then rescued from these wild nests and hand-reared at the Gerarld Durrell Endemic Wildlife Sanctuary (GDEWS) before the fledglings are released in Ferney Valley to establish a second wild population.
The Mauritius Olive White-eye is the smallest of the Mauritian songbirds and is the least known of all the Mauritian birds. It is only found in the upland forest of the Black River Gorges National Park and is considered as Critically Endangered by IUCN due to the severe decline in population size and distribution over the past 30 years.
The current population is estimated at only 100-150 pairs. The population is monitored at Combo, Black River Gorges National Park and on Ile aux Aigrettes (IAA). On IAA the population is supported with supplementary food and a number of studies are being carried out to identify the minimum management needed to support the population on the island.

This information will inform further translocations. The Mauritius Fody, a small endemic songbird, was once common in the forests of Mauritius. Over time, numbers declined due to habitat loss and nest predation, and it became restricted to a small range within the Black River Gorges. Efforts to conserve this charismatic species began in the late 1990s, and marooning on predator-free offshore islets was deemed the best strategy to establish additional sub-populations and to ensure the future survival of the species.

The population is monitored on Ile aux Aigrettes (IAA and the population is supported with supplementary food. The data collected will inform further translocations. The position A unique opportunity to join a dynamic field team, and contribute to the conservation of birds which are considered amongst the rarest passerines in the world. The position offers the successful applicant the opportunity to learn a wide range of field skills relating to the monitoring and management of the species including bird handling (ringing and collection of morphometric measurements). A testimonial will be provided on completion of the period testifying to the training completed.

This is an exciting opportunity to work with a species and a project that is known internationally amongst conservationists and interact with conservation biologists from around the world. You will have the opportunity to learn about many other conservation projects first hand and interact with eminent conservation scientists. We regularly run talks and presentations given both by visiting scientists and our own staff where you will learn about other conservation recovery projects run by the Mauritian Wildlife Foundation.

The passerine programme is supported by the North of England Zoological Society (NEZS) also known as Chester Zoo and the position provide an excellent opportunity to collaborate with this world renowned conservation organisation amongst many others.

You will also be offered an opportunity to work on Round Island for a week or two, a predator free island closed to the public with a unique ecosystem.

Mauritius Cuckoo-shrike (ref: MCS)

1. Monitor the wild population of the Mauritius Cuckoo-shrike (Coracina typica) at Brisefer, Macchabee and Bel Ombre (Black River Gorges National Park). Find nests and where possible assist in the rescue of these nests as part of the intensive management programme for this species.
2. Ensure the accurate collection of data on the Mauritius Cuckoo-shrike population with parameters such as survival and recruitment, breeding behaviour, health of individuals and nesting attempts and feeding observations.
3. Assist in the releases of handreared birds if required to do so.
4. Provide training and supervision to staff and volunteers on all aspects of work relating to the project if required to do so.
5. Work alongside all team members employed or volunteering on the project
6. Ensure that you maintain the high standards in field work techniques and protocols, which you will acquire through a training programme
7. Participate in presentations of your project or of the work of the Mauritian Wildlife Foundation when required or other activities of the Foundation.
8. Contribute to report writing if required to do so

Positions Available:
Paid & Volunteer

Duration:
For Volunteers this is a temporary position with a duration of 6 months.

All positions: start date August 2019.

Mauritius Olive White-eye (ref: MOWE)

1. Monitor the wild population of the Mauritius Olive White-Eye (Zosterops chloronothos) at Combo (Black River Gorges National Park). Find nests, monitor for breeding success and take necessary actions to enhance success of establishment.
OR
Monitor the survival and breeding status of the translocated population on Ile aux Aigrettes, and take necessary actions to enhance success of establishment.
2. Ensure the accurate collection of data on the Mauritius Olive White-eye population with parameters such as survival and recruitment, breeding behaviour, health of individuals and nesting attempts.
3. Apply protocols for answering research questions eg determination of provisioning of Olive White-eye chicks (prey size and feeding frequency) in the source population (Combo) and translocated population (Ile aux Aigrettes), and underlying factors.
4. Provide training and supervision to staff and volunteers on all aspects of work relating to the project if required to do so.
5. Work alongside all team members employed or volunteering on the project
6. Ensure that you maintain the high standards in field work techniques and protocols, which you will acquire through a training programme
7. Participate in presentations of your project or of the work of the Mauritian Wildlife Foundation when required or other activities of the Foundation.
8. Contribute to report writing if required to do so

Positions Available:
Paid & Volunteer

Duration:
For volunteers this is a temporary position with a duration of 6 months. Start date would be discussed at interview.

Mauritius Fody (ref: MF)

1. Monitor the survival and breeding status of the translocated population on Ile aux Aigrettes, and take necessary actions to enhance success of establishment.
2. Ensure the accurate collection of data on the Mauritius Fody population with parameters such as survival and recruitment, breeding behaviour, health of individuals and nesting attempts.
3. Provide supervision to short term volunteers on all aspects of work relating to the project if required to do so.
4. Work alongside all team members employed or volunteering on the project
5. Ensure that you maintain the high standards in field work techniques and protocols, which you will acquire through a training programme
6. Participate in presentations of your project or of the work of the Mauritian Wildlife Foundation when required or other activities of the Foundation.
7. Contribute to report writing if required to do so

Positions Available:
Volunteers

Duration: This is a temporary position with a duration of 6 months. Start date would be discussed at interview.

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

  • BSc in the relevant subject 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).
  • Strong observation skills.
  • 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.
  • Able to follow and work to established protocols.
  • Must not be colour blind.
  • Proven interest in wildlife conservation and the environment

Summary of terms and conditions of employment
Terms and conditions:

Please see individual projects for duration and positions available.
Other conditions will be further discussed at interview.

Stipend:
For paid positions a stipend is paid to cover local living costs.
For these positions a return air ticket for overseas residents is provided.

Accommodation:
Provided Transport:
Provided for work purposes

Location: Island of Mauritius / Mauritius

Hours of work: 195 hours of work per month

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
The selection process will involve short-listing and to fill in a questionnaire upon which an interview for the short-listed candidates will be held (by Skype for overseas applicants) with our Passerine Project Coordinator.

How to apply

Please send a motivation letter quoting the job reference and your CV to the HR at hr@mauritian-wildlife.org and executive@mauritian-wildlife.org. Selection will start as from 10th April 2019 and continue until the positions are filled.

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