Internships/volunteer

Pink Pigeon Conservation Biologist

Pink Pigeon Conservation Biologist

A unique opportunity to join a dynamic field team, and contribute to the conservation of what was formerly considered amongst the rarest birds in the world.

Project background/purpose

The Pink Pigeon recovery programme has seen the restoration of this endangered species from only 10 individuals in 1990 to over 470 individuals in 2018. In the last 30 years, an integrated management approach of captive breeding, releases, habitat restoration, supplementary feeding and predator control has been applied.  There is one subpopulation of Pink Pigeons established on the offshore island of Ile aux Aigrettes and six more in the Black River Gorges National Park.  Two of these sites, Pétrin and the Lower Black River Gorges, are open to the public and the birds can easily been seen.

Additional subpopulations have been established in areas of good quality native forest habitat, in the Ferney Valley and Ebony Forest. This has increased the area occupied by Pink Pigeons and will help increase the population size to over 600 birds, a figure believed to be the minimum viable population size for an avian species.

To provide birds for the additional subpopulations and to provide genetic diversity to the current populations, a captive population of Pink Pigeons has been set up at the Gerald Durrell Wildlife Endemic Sanctuary.  The offspring of these birds are being released into the wild.  It is planned to re-introduce birds from European zoos with genes that are missing or underrepresented in the wild on Mauritius to join the captive population for breeding purposes.

The position

A unique opportunity to join a dynamic field team, and contribute to the conservation of what was formerly considered amongst the rarest birds in the world.

The position offers the successful applicant the opportunity to learn a wide range of field skills covering; monitoring to identify which birds are breeding, supplementary feeding, nest location and monitoring, predator control, disease screening & treatment, bird handling including ringing of birds and collection of morphometric measurements, post mortems of both predators and dead pink pigeons.  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, to contribute to the recovery of the species and interact with conservation biologists from around the world.  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. 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.

Qualifications/requirements

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

  • Minimum a BSc Level and over 21 years old
  • Good level of physical fitness and stamina
  • 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.
  • Possessing a full, clean driving licence an advantage.
  • Must not be colour blind.
  • Proven interest in wildlife conservation and in the protection of the environment.
Summary of terms and conditions of employment

Terms and conditions:  This is a temporary position with a duration of 6 months. Other conditions will be further discussed at interview. 

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 a Skype interview for international & face to face for local applicants will be held with our Pink Pigeon 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.