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Conservation Pilot – Niokolo-Koba Support Program

Reference   (Please mention Stopdodo/Environment Jobs in your application)
Sectors Terrestrial / Aquatic Ecology & Conservation
Location Senegal - Africa
Salary (Minimum)
Salary (Maximum)
Type Fixed Term and Permanent Roles
Status Full Time
Level Mid Level
Deadline 15/11/2021
Company Name Panthera
Contact Name
Website Further Details / Applications
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Directory Entry : Wildlife and Ecology Jobs with...Panthera's mission is to ensure the future of wild cats through scientific leadership and global conservation action.
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Panthera Senegal is looking for a motivated and dedicated full time Conservation Pilot (CP) in our long-term program to support wildlife monitoring, research, protection and management in Niokolo-Koba National Park (NKNP) in Senegal. This Park is of exceptional regional and global importance, especially for the conservation of lions, leopards, wild dogs and other highly endangered mammal species in West Africa. However, wildlife populations in the park have declined in recent decades due to a lack of funds to effectively manage the entire park, which covers more than 9,000 km2. Since 2017, Panthera supports the management authority of the park, the Directorate of National Parks (DPN), in the protection and management of a 1,700 kmpilot project area located in the South-East of the park, with the aim to stabilize and restore wildlife populations and key wildlife habitats. As stipulated in the original park support program plan developed by Panthera, the year 2020 sees an expansion of selected project activities from the pilot project area to the entire park. Among other things, systematic baseline surveys and monitoring that provides reliable data on wildlife distribution and abundance, habitat status and threats, are urgently required to inform management decisions in the park.

The CP will be responsible to organize and undertake aerial survey and surveillance flights across the park, and assure sound operations, management, and maintenance of the Panthera/DPN Savannah S (ULM) in NKNP. The CP will be assisted by local and international Panthera staff, and will work in close collaboration with the Technical Assistant for Biodiversity Monitoring and our main program partner DPN. The position will be based at the Niokolo-Koba post sub-office in NKNP and where the airstrip and hangar will be built.

Position Background

NKNP is of outstanding global importance for the conservation of highly threatened wildlife species. The situation of lions, elands, elephants and other species present in the Park is critical and strengthening protection of the remaining populations by assisting the state in improving management effectiveness is Panthera´s highest conservation priority. However, a conspicuous lack of reliable baseline information prevents any management informed decision-making. Aerial surveys are the best tools to collect wildlife and threat data across large and open savanna and woodland landscapes, and most well-managed protected areas in African savanna biomes rely on aerial support for surveillance and wildlife counts. In NKNP, only two aerial surveys have been conducted over the last 2 decades, each time depending on external support. Panthera aims to set up an aerial survey and surveillance component at NKNP, by providing to the park an ultra-light plane appropriate for wildlife counts in savannah systems and by hiring and training an experienced pilot and mechanic who will safely operate the plane and strengthen on-site capacity to conduct regular, aerial wildlife and threat assessments across the park. Aerial surveys will be routinely utilised to conduct park-wide wildlife and threat assessments and surveillance flights to gather data and generate information practical for management.

Position Statement

The CP will support the Technical Assistant for Wildlife and Habitat Monitoring in planning, management and coordination of all aerial survey and monitoring activities, ensuring efficient and timely delivery of survey and monitoring program goals, objectives and targets.

Primary Duties and Responsibilities 

  • Assuring sound operations, piloting and maintenance of NKNP aircraft, as well as registration and insurance at national level;
  • Work closely with the Technical Assistant for Biodiversity Monitoring and our main program partner DPN to develop weekly flight plans according to joint priorities for park monitoring and management;
  • Organizing and undertaking weekly aerial surveys for wildlife monitoring and threat detection across the entire park;
  • On an annual basis, conduct full counts of all medium-sized and large mammals across the park;
  • Providing aerial support to law enforcement efforts;
  • Technical reporting on aerial survey and surveillance missions.

Candidate Profile

a. Required Qualifications and Experience 

  • At least 500 hours PIC flying experience,
  • Strong knowledge of aircraft maintenance requirements.
  • Experience with wildlife surveys and bush flying in remote areas.
  • Technical skills and knowledge in GIS, aerial surveys, wildlife protection monitoring, aerial photography, also desired.

b. Other Skills and Competencies 

  • Highly developed innovative problem-solving ability.
  • Working French and English language skills.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills and ability to establish and maintain effective working relations with people in a multi-cultural, multi-interest, multi-ethnic environment.

Working Relationships 

Interacts and works closely with Panthera´s Niokolo-Koba Support Program team, Technical

Assistant for Wildlife and Habitat Monitoring and DPN´s biodiversity survey and monitoring officers.

Salary determined based on qualifications and commensurate with experience.

How to Apply

Please submit a detailed CV, cover letter and the contact information of three referees from your previous employers through the Panthera Careers Page. Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted. The closing date for applications is Monday, November 15.

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