Monday, June 19, 2017

Volunteer Field Assistant

Volunteer Field Assistant

Angkor Centre for Conservation of Biodiversity,
Kbal Spean, Phnom Kulen National Park, Siem Reap Province, Cambodia

The Angkor Centre for Conservation of Biodiversity (ACCB) was established in 2003 by Allwetterzoo Münster and the Zoological Society for the Conservation of Species and Populations (ZGAP). It was one of the first nature conservation centres in Cambodia, located within Phnom Kulen National Park close to Siem Reap and the UNESCO World Heritage of Angkor. The primary goals of the Angkor Centre for Conservation of Biodiversity are:

1.        To operate as a rescue, rehabilitation and release centre for native Cambodian wildlife maintained and conducted in-line with internationally recognized standards.

2.        Provision of facilities and technical expertise for the conservation breeding of selected threatened species, including reintroduction and restocking programs where appropriate.

3.        To serve as national focal point of environmental awareness and education, to promote and encourage the conservation of biodiversity to local communities, tourists and key stakeholders and decision-makers in the private and public sector.

4.        To initiate and participate in wildlife conservation and research activities in Cambodia, including in situ conservation activities, species recovery efforts, biodiversity inventories and natural resource-use assessment, and to provide information to support management recommendations for protected areas.

The ACCB is currently offering a Volunteer Field Assistant position in the Field Conservation Department. This is a challenging but rewarding position for a highly dedicated and motivated individual with a keen interest in making a contribution towards conservation. The Volunteer Field Assistant will be based at ACCB’s project location in Stung Treng Province, North-Eastern Cambodia.

About ACCB Field Conservation
ACCB’s in situ conservation efforts are at present focused between monitoring and directing species recovery actions for three species of vulture classed as Critically Endangered in IUCN’s Red List of Threatened Species. In 2004 a national action plan was set-up in Cambodia between government ministries and conservation NGOs to conserve Cambodia’s vulture populations. The partnership is called the Cambodian Vulture Conservation Project (CVCP) of which ACCB has been involved in some capacity nearly since its inception and became an official and active partner circa 2008. Vultures are an important part of the eco-system as they are the most efficient scavengers of large carcasses that exist. As well as being an excellent means of removing carcasses and stopping the spread of disease.

Cambodia has two species of near-endemic ibis, which are also listed as Critically Endangered in the Red List, and holds some of the last or most important populations of large water or grassland birds, including Sarus Crane, Lesser and Greater Adjutant and Bengal Florican. ACCB’s work currently involves monitoring these birds and their habitats. Whilst ACCB is regularly carrying out rescue and release operations of mammals, at present the field conservation programs do not focus on mammals.

Main Duties and Responsibilities
The Volunteer Field Assistant will support the Field Conservation Manager and the Field Conservation Team in all daily tasks. This role includes both, office and field related activities.

-        Take part in in the planning, operation and data collection of field monitoring and surveys for a variety of species, habitats and anthropomorphic threats.

-        Assist in all aspects of vulture feeding site operations, logistics, monitoring and data collection.
-        Vulture nest and colony monitoring surveys and data collection, assisting nest protection activities.

-        Take part in meetings, discussions, workshops and other project-related events.

-        Creation, management and delivery of vulture conservation media and promotion materials.

-        Maintenance of project records and databases.

-        Maintenance of project equipment and facilities.

-        Tour leading and wildlife interpretation for guests at vulture restaurants, or guided centre tours at the conservation centre.

-        BSc / MSc or higher in a biological science.

-        A keen interest in the conservation of avifauna is essential, as currently these are the focus of ACCB’s field programs.

-        Be able to speak and write English at a level consistent with reading and writing scientific reports.

-        Practical experience of wildlife surveying and/or monitoring (Desirable).

-        Some previous experience of working in developing countries and/or in tropical climates (Desirable).

-        The holder of the position must be able to work unsupervised and in a self-motivated manner with English-speaking local Cambodian project staff. Ability to take responsibility within a team is essential.

-        Ability to work efficiently within a team and organisational framework, whilst closely consulting with ACCB’s Animal and Education Department in particular.

-        The role involves a limited amount of financial responsibility. Ability to accurately collect receipts and keep an account of all spending in the required manner and format is essential.

-        Ability to ride small motorbikes off-road is essential, as is a basic understanding of mechanics and vehicle maintenance.

-        A thorough working knowledge of word processing, spreadsheet, powerpoint presentation, digital media management and basic photo/video editing ability.

-        Proficiency with GoogleEarth software is essential and some knowledge of GIS software is desirable.

-        Ability to correctly use GPS in the field and consequently manage GPS data is essential.

-        The position requires a person who is self-motivated and capable to work independently.

-        The role involves staying in the tropical jungle for extended overnight periods so the candidate should be able to cope with the heat, insects, lack of facilities and simple remote and rural conditions.

-        The role involves provision of carcasses for the vulture restaurant, so the candidate should be comfortable dealing with the carcasses of dead cows, buffaloes or goats.

-        Cultural sensitivity.

The timeframe for this position is from the date of hiring until 31st March 2018. Applicants must be able to commit for the entire duration.

Conditions / remuneration

-        Free accommodation, water, electricity and internet at ACCB’s Field Conservation Office in Stung Treng, North-eastern Cambodia.
-        A stipend of 150 USD/calendar month will be provided.
-        Full-time work, with flexibility as required (e.g. in the field).
-        6 days off per month.
-        ACCB covers the costs for Fieldwork Expenses (food, water, fuel and lodging whilst conducting fieldwork).

ACCB does not cover:

-        General food and living expenses.
-        Vaccinations (recommended).
-        Travel Insurance (required).
-        Any other cost of a personal or medical nature.
-        Transport to and from Cambodia
-        Domestic transport during leisure time.

will be reviewed on a rolling basis. Only shortlisted candidates will be notified.
Starting date: as soon as possible.

Please apply as soon as possible via email including cover letter, CV and the contact details of two references to:

Michael Meyerhoff, ACCB Project Manager

Peter Dickinson
Independent International Zoo Consultant

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