Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Head of Species Conservation and Research

Head of Species Conservation and Research

Jersey Zoo


Reports to:    Madagascar Programme Director

Hours:            Full time (40 hours per week)

Location:        Madagascar

Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust is focussed on saving some of the world’s most threatened species in the most threatened places. This remains at the core of Durrell’s new vision set out in our ‘Rewild Our World’ strategy which sets ambitious targets to achieve by 2025. Central to achieving these are our ten global rewilding sites two of which are in Madagascar: Madagascan wetlands and Madagascan dry forests.

An organisational Theory of Change outlines our approach to this incorporating all operational parts of Durrell: Field Programmes, Conservation Knowledge (Science and Training) and Jersey Zoo. This role will require the post holder to engage with all aspects of the organisation’s operational structure.

Madagascar is our single largest investment, with a full time staff of over 50 people working in six field sites across the country. Durrell’s approach to conservation in Madagascar differs to other field programme regions as we place a major focus on working with local communities to save species and protect habitats. So while the post holder will be responsible for the leadership and development of our species programmes in Madagascar, they will operate within broader socio-ecological systems and therefore an understanding of landscape level conservation and community processes would be highly beneficial.

The post holder will be a member of the Management Team in Madagascar, working with the other team members to lead all activities in Madagascar. The post holder will lead a team of nine direct reports (four based in the field) including the Madagascar Programme Database Manager, with who they will work closely to manage our core assets in the form of our species monitoring data. Working with field projects in remote regions of Madagascar brings challenges and the post holder must be able to respond to unforeseen situations professionally. The role is based in our headquarters in Antananarivo, but will require travel to the field sites and at least 20% of time spent in the field working with teams on their species projects.

Principal Accountabilities

  • Lead the management of all species restoration projects.
  • Ensure the maintenance and development of standards and good practice within our two captive breeding centres at Ampijoroa and Antsohihy.
  • Coordinate population monitoring activities for key focal species; ensuring the timely collection, management and analysis of data. The post holder will also work with Durrell’s Conservation Knowledge team to support the use of monitoring data within the Durrell Index monitoring and evaluation framework.
  • Lead the operational management of species conservation projects – including fundraising, project management and reporting to donors.
  • Support the communication of our field programmes both in Madagascar and globally.
  • Act as the focal point for all external researchers and provide support to facilitate delivery of research led by external partners.



  • Proven track record in management of conservation projects in the developing world
  • Proven background in animal ecology and/or conservation
  • Experience in survey and monitoring design and implementation
  • Fluency in English and have good knowledge of French and/or Malagasy
  • Proven experience managing large data-sets
  • Proven track record in successful grant-writing and management.
  • Proven track record in publication in scientific literature.
  • Strong leadership and management skills
  • Proven ability to work independently and respond to unforeseen situations
  • Physically fit and able to spend time in the field away from comforts.


It would be beneficial if the candidate had:

  • Experience with data analysis and management within Geographic Information Systems.
  • Experience with landscape ecology and ecosystem sciences
  • Experience/knowledge of a range of different research and statistical methods
  • Knowledge/experience of captive-breeding of endangered species
  • Experience/knowledge of Madagascar species and Madagascar conservation issues
  • A good understanding of global conservation issues, especially in developing country contexts

Closing date for applications is: 31st Aug 2018

To apply please click Here

Peter Dickinson
Independent International Zoo Consultant

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