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Volunteer to study & save one of the world's most threatened mammals

Reference   (Please mention Stopdodo/Environment Jobs in your application)
Sectors Terrestrial / Aquatic Ecology & Conservation
Location Colombia - America South
Town/City El Dorado Nature Reserve
Type Fixed Term and Permanent Roles
Status Full Time
Level Mid Level
Deadline 15/10/2012
Company Name Fundacion ProAves
Contact Name Sam Martinez
Email fundacion@proaves.org
Website Further Details / Applications
Fundacion ProAves  logo
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Volunteers are urgently needed to assist in the research and conservation of one of the most endangered mammals on earth - the spectacular Santa Marta Toro (Santamartamys rufodorsalis) in Northern Colombia. This arboreal monotypic genus was thought to be extinct since 1898, until recently it was rediscovery after 113 years at ProAves’ El Dorado Nature Reserve, located in the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta mountain range. Recently listed as one of the 100 most threatened species in the world by the IUCN and ZSL, this is an incredible opportunity to work on a species whose natural history is virtually unknown.

ProAves is an effective conservation group - saving critical habitats for endangered species. We need help on the front line of conservation in Colombia to understand the treats to the Santa Marta Toro, produce a Species Action Plan and implement conservation actions. Long-term (minimum three months) volunteers are required to support researchers in the El Dorado reserve with various aspects of this investigation with activities including:

  • Daily checking and baiting of camera traps,
  • Construction and maintenance of feeding stations,
  • Night time mammal spotlighting transects,
  • Radio transmitter tracking of Toros at night.

Volunteers are also expected to undertake physical conservation work to support actions to save the Toro and other endemic species in El Dorado, including:

  • Non-native and invasive pine tree erradication (chain-saw experience welcome),
  • Reforestation of native species
  • Maintaining trails and roads
  • Construct and install artifical nest-boxes
  • Assisting two permanent forest guards in general activities

Applicants must be in good physical shape as daily treks to check camera traps and re-bait them will involve several hours walking through forest terrain which, in some parts, is extremely steep.

Spanish would also be of benefit, but is not an essential skill.

Due to the scale of the project will only accept volunteers willing to contribute for a minimum of 3 months, with the possibility to extend their stay. A donation of $10 per day to cover food expenses is required from each volunteer ($900 for three months must be donated before starting). For volunteers who wish to extend their stay beyond the minimum 3 months, ProAves will generously cover food and reserve accommodation costs for this additional period. All additional expenses (travel, day excursions, alcoholic and soft drinks) will not be covered. The El Dorado lodge has high-speed internet and good facilities. Volunteers will be expected to share rooms with other volunteers.

Applicants wishing to participate in this incredible opportunity are required to send an email to Señor Martinez smartinez@proaves.org and fundacion@proaves.org with:

  • A cover letter explaining why you are the ideal applicant and your availability (dates).
  • A full CV including two professional or academic reference.
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