Predator Research Technician

PREDATOR-HUMAN COEXISTENCE AND BIODIVERSITY CONSERVATION PROJECT IN SOUTH AFRICA

Responsibilities

Predator Research Technicians pursuing a career in wildlife ecology and/or conservation are needed to assist with a study aimed to test non-lethal predator-human conflict mitigation measures on farmlands that experience high livestock losses. Research technicians will be needed for a 3 month commitment from 15 September – 15 December 2015.

The technicians will assist The Cape Leopard Trust and Conservation South Africa project involving graduate students from South African and Canadian universities in assessing predator behavioural ecology and estimating prey abundance and diversity. This work will be strenuous requiring technicians to work long hours (10-14 hour days) and hike long distances (~5-20 km/day) over rough and varying terrain and challenging weather conditions (semi-arid shrubland with significant seasonal and daily variation in temperature and rainfall). Research technicians will be involved in the following activities:

1.     Visit GPS cluster locations from collared predators
2.     Set and maintain camera stations
3.     Collect predator scat
4.     Monitor predator trap lines physically and remotely
5.     Small mammal trapping
6.     Vegetation surveys
7.     Data entry
8.     Potential opportunity to assist with capturing caracal and/or leopard

Location

The study area includes Namaqua National Park and surrounding farmlands in the Northern Cape, South Africa. The area is approximately 100 km east of the Atlantic Ocean coast and located in the Succulent Karoo, a globally recognized biodiversity hotspot.

Wage

For the 3 month position, applicants pay $500/month for project running costs. Airfare, health insurance and food expenses are the responsibility of the applicant. Accommodation and on site (study area) transport will be provided.

Qualifications

Required:
1. Recent graduate or senior undergraduate in a relevant BSc program
2. Strong hiker willing to work long hours in challenging conditions
3. Excellent organizational and communication skills
4. Ability to work independently with little supervision and as part of a team
5. Willingness to live in a remote rural setting and basic living conditions with other project team members

Preferred previous experience:
1. GPS cluster site investigations
2. Camera trapping
3. Fieldwork management experience
4. Orienteering with GPS unit, compass and map
5. Predator ecology and/or wildlife-human conflict research
6. Small mammal trapping
7. Experience driving manual 4 x 4 truck
8. Vegetation surveys
9. Experience in a developing country

Application process

Please send a single word document that includes a cover letter, resume and contact information for 2 references to Kristine Teichman by 15 August 2015 to kristine.teichman@ubc.ca. Only shortlisted applicants will be contacted and interviewed.

 

Volunteer veterinarian needed for predator research in the Northern Cape

We are providing an opportunity for veterinarians to practice wildlife handling as part of a predator ecology research project in the Karoo. We seek veterinarian(s) on a short term locum to perform wildlife capture and handling for research. The research project involves a collaboration of South African and international universities and NGOs. The primary goal is to test the ecological and economic efficacies of various methods for minimizing human-predator conflict over livestock depredation. The study area includes Namaqua National Park and neighbouring farmland in Namaqualand, Northern Cape. The area falls within the Succulent Karoo, a scenic and globally recognized biodiversity hotspot. Field efforts will involve capturing predators (caracal, leopard) using leg-hold and box traps to deploy GPS radiocollars and collect research samples. Depending on personal interest, opportunities also exist for the veterinarian(s) to address research questions of their interest, such as stress hormones, parasite loads, disease etc. Due to limited research funding we are unable to offer a stipend, but housing and travel expenses within the study area while working on the project will be covered. The position will have a minimum duration of 2 weeks and maximum 6 months. Only one veterinarian is needed at a time. Please contact us stating your availability to be able to discuss a mutually convenient schedule. We are aiming to start predator captures in mid-January and continue captures until at least November 2015.

Bogdan Cristescu, Research Coordinator, Predator Ecology and Coexistence Experiment 
Kristine Teichman, Researcher, Predator Ecology and Coexistence Experiment
The Cape Leopard Trust
E-mail: bogdan.cristescu@uct.ac.za or kristine.teichman@ubc.ca
Phone: 061-157-2007 or 082- 666-6875
www.capeleopard.org.za