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.