JOB TITLE: BLACK PARROT RESEARCH OFFICER
SALARY: SG9 (subject to qualifications and experience)
REPORTING TO: Vallée de Mai Science Coordinator (VSC), Science Coordinator (SC)
ADVISED BY : Consulting Director of Research & Conservation (DRC)
LOCATION: Vallée de Mai, Praslin, Seychelles
The black parrot research and data officer provides crucial field and technical support to SIF’s Seychelles black
parrot research programme. In this role you will assist, work with and report to the black parrot team leader on
a day to day basis in carrying out the black parrot research activities.
The role encompasses field work (including black parrot nest observations and checks, chick monitoring and
bird ringing) and ensuring that the data collection and management, and reporting is standardised and high
quality. You may also be responsible for supervising and training junior members of the black parrot team. The
rules and regulations of the Vallée de Mai and SIF must be adhered to at all times.
SPECIFIC WORK DUTIES:
- Cooperate and liaise with the black parrot team leader on all matters concerning the daily black parrot work programme and related activities and carry out the programme as requested by SPPC and VSC and advised by the DRC.
- Carry out pre-nesting season checks of all potential cavities and prepare any cavities categorised as suitable for potential nesting (e.g. fitting access hatch, raising floor of cavity).
- Conduct observations of black parrots and focal watches of cavities to confirm nesting activity and stage.
- Work with the rest of the team to find as many black parrot nests as possible in the study area (Vallée de Mai, surrounding Praslin National Park area including Fond Peper and Glacis Noire, Fond Ferdinand, Zimbabwe) through observations, following breeding calls in the field and following up information from others.
- Access nests for egg and chick measurements at approved intervals using standard approved methods ensuring that safety of staff and welfare of parrots are prioritised at all times.
- Conduct mist-netting, ringing, measuring and sampling (blood, feather as required) of parrots.
- Provide training and capacity building in field techniques for junior and less experienced members of the black parrot team.
- Conduct opportunistic observations on and collect standardised data on black parrot feeding and unusual or interesting behaviours (e.g. copulations, feeding of fledglings, signs of disease or injury).
- At less busy times of the season you may be asked to help conduct the phenology monitoring.
- Be responsible for all black parrot project equipment used, maintain the equipment in good working order, report and highlight missing or damaged equipment, assist in sourcing replacement or needed equipment and communicate necessary research requisitions clearly to VSC and SM.
- Conducting invasive species management only as requested in writing by SPPC
Office, data and reporting tasks
- Ensure that all team members are collecting and recording the correct data on the black parrots.
- Ensure that all black parrot data collected is entered into the black parrot Access database on a daily basis
- Ensure that all black parrot data entered into the database is checked and correct at least weekly.
- Ensure that black parrot database is backed up.
- Write and submit monthly reports on black parrot project activities and findings including data summaries on all aspects of monitored nests by the first week of the following month, i.e. the November report should be submitted by 7th December
- Write and submit a season report with the first draft being submitted by the end of April and the final corrected version submitted by the end of May.
- Develop a monitoring protocol for the black parrot breeding monitoring programme in consultation with the team leader, the VSC and the SPPC.
- The black parrot research and data officer may use the VdM monitoring data to investigate possible relationships between, for example black parrot breeding and climatic or phenological variables, if time permits.
Organisation, communication and outreach
- Communicate with the other black parrot team members on a daily basis regarding work plans and activities plus any changes of plan
- Follow the weekly work plan drafted in the research meeting unless plan changes are discussed and approved by VSC and the black parrot team leader
- Communicate with the DRC on overall direction, management and strategy of the black parrot project
- Write and submit to the Communications Officer regular facebook posts whenever there is interesting news on the black parrots to share (e.g. first breeding behaviour seen, first nest or egg or chick found, interesting parrot behaviour seen, large number of parrots caught for ringing, elusive female caught, fledglings to report, problems with nests or birds etc), with high quality photos if possible.
- Contribute newsletter articles updating the black parrot season news on request from the communications officer, including high quality photos if possible.
- Produce other contributions for SIF publicity and visibility on request, e.g. article for annual report, newspaper/ magazine articles
- Develop and give presentations on request to various audiences, e.g. SIF staff, schoolchildren, community groups.
- Assist wherever possible in the education and training of the field research assistants and rangers, and encourage self-improvement through further education of research staff.
- Contribute to education and outreach activities in the VdM education programme including guided tours and development of and participation in other activities to ensure high standards of education, high levels of engagement and correct information transfer.
- Occasional guiding of VIP groups or assistance of researchers with a particular interest in birds may be required outside normal working hours
- Attend weekly research meetings with all VdM research staff and report findings and activities as requested.
- Attend monthly VdM staff meetings.
- Adhere to and help to ensure that other SIF staff, volunteers and students adhere to SIF protocols, policies and regulations, including the Code of Conduct, and policies on environmental management, internet usage and other regulations and memos which may be issued periodically.
- Monthly reports during black parrot breeding season
- Season report including all findings and data of the season, comparison with earlier years and analysis of data
- Clean dataset including all data from season
- Protocol on black parrot breeding monitoring
Education and experience
- BSc (essential) in environmental subject or equivalent
- At least 2 years working with birds in the field and proven skills with managing data and reporting on bird projects (essential), preferably on parrots.
- Additional experience working in the environmental sector in Seychelles (preferred)
- Excellent working knowledge of Seychelles native and introduced flora and fauna (preferred)
Skills and special knowledge
- Extensive experience handling, ringing, measuring, sampling and mist-netting birds (essential)
- Demonstrated experience managing and summarising large datasets (essential)
- Demonstrated experience of regular good quality report-writing and meeting deadlines (essential)
- Competency with IT, specifically with MS software (Excel, Access, Word, Powerpoint), GPS & GIS software (essential)
- High level of fitness and demonstrated ability to work in the field in tropical conditions (essential)
- Tree-climbing skills and qualification (preferred)
- Demonstrated experience at presenting to various audiences (preferred)
- Proven determination and commitment to conservation and good knowledge of international conservation issues
It is essential to have: a positive, problem-solving and resourceful attitude; strong and proven initiative; excellent and diplomatic communication skills; good time management, organisational, multi-tasking and prioritisation skills; a patient, flexible and adaptable character; an enquiring, curious mind; and a high level of professionalism.
Please note this vacancy is only open to Seychelles applicants. Apply for this post by sending your CV, and a cover letter explaining your capability and suitability for this position. Applications and enquiries on this position can be made at email@example.com.
The deadline for applications is 09/07/22