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  • Bird Reserve Stewards

    Guest Dr. Dusti Becker
    • Employer: Life Net Nature
      Location: Reserva Las Tangaras
      Country: Ecuador
      Last Date to Apply: No value
      Open Until Filled: Yes


    Stewardship Couple 2024: Las Tangaras Reserve, Mindo, Ecuador

    Life Net Nature seeks a fit, mature in character, and responsible couple with a solid history of working and living together. Applicants must have combined backgrounds in property management, rugged hiking including some rock scrambling, ecotourism, conservation biology, social media, and basic marketing.  Experience with trail care is a must. 


    We especially seek couples having backgrounds in: 1) field ornithology (ideally some tropical experience), 2) ecotourism and hospitality services, 3) guiding or nature interpretation, 4) bio-regional living including organic gardening, solar equipment, and composting, 5) wilderness and leave-no-trace camping ethics, 6) carpentry, plumbing, and small motors, 7) small business operations and basic accounting, 😎 first aid training, 9) loads of common sense, and 10) a problem-solving and responsible attitude.


    The couple lives at Reserva Las Tangaras for a 165-day contract (an Ecuadorian 90-day tourist Visa plus extension, with 2 weeks at end for adventuring in Ecuador). Short excursions away from the reserve can be arranged during the contract period. Shorter 90-day contracts are also an option. 


    Contract dates:

    January 3 to June 18, 2024

    June 14 to December 1, 2024 


    Reserva Las Tangaras (RLT) is a 51-hectare montane forest protected area located near the town of Mindo. Endemic and endangered species are protected on the property and include more than 350 bird species, spectacled bear, and white-fronted capuchin monkey. RLT receives light visitation by bird-watchers, nature enthusiasts, photographers, and tropical biology researchers and students. Entry, overnight, and guided tour fees sustain the reserve, and support the couple’s monthly stipend. New stewards overlap with out-going stewards or Dr. Becker for 3 days of training. 


    Qualifications: Both applicants must speak and write well in English. Both applicants must understand Spanish, and one must have at least intermediate to advanced skills in Spanish. One person must have an undergraduate degree in a topic related to the position: ecology, field biology, ecotourism, natural resources management, conservation biology, etc.). 

    Duties include: A. Care of and improvement of the 51-hectare RLT property, including two-story wooden lodge/cabin and approximately 15-km of trails. 


    B. Collection of scientific data on weather and hummingbirds at 3 feeders (daily), the Andean Cock-of-the Rock and Club-winged Manakin leks (weekly), two thrush species (opportunistically), camera trapping (optional), and keep species lists of mammals, birds, and herptiles seen (monthly). 


    C. Market online and in the Mindo area using social media (Facebook, Instagram, and Wordpress blog) to attract guests. 


    D. Hosting guests and guiding.


    Stewards must be capable of:

    1. Hosting international and local nature-oriented guests and visitors, while maintaining a tidy research station/guest cabin, preparing and selling meals to guests (with all proceeds from food and drink sales retained by the couple). 

    2. Keeping financial records, setting realistic goals and completing management tasks including all communications, such as reservations via phone & online, and doing a monthly report to Life Net Nature. 

    3. Maintaining the water system and all trails on the reserve, with special care and monitoring for the entrance bridge. 

    4. Improving trails and signage from the main road and throughout the reserve. 

    5. Sustaining gardens and orchards, and wildlife-friendly plantings. 

    6. Using Excel & Word for monthly reports and for recording data. 

    7. Having good computer skills and their own laptop for blogging on Wordpress, using social media, and submitting a monthly report with science data and accounting, updated inventory, and other specific topics. Send email thank you notes to guests, contribute bird lists to eBird, and more. 


    Compensation: During the rainy season (January through end of May) stewards receive $400/month/couple. From May to December, the high season, the stipend is $350. The stipend is for maintaining 3 hummingbird feeders with sugar water and stocking basic supplies to host guests and to contribute to the couple's cost of living. Stewards earn additional income by offering food and beverages and guide services to guests. Proceeds from guiding are split 50:50 between reserve and stewards. Food and beverage income is 100% retained by the stewards. 

    To Apply:

    As one PDF document, please send 1) a joint cover letter expressing interest and qualifications of each person, 2) a professional resume (CV) for both applicants, and 3) three references per applicant with email & phone contact info. Email application materials to Dr. Dusti Becker at dustizuni@yahoo.com.  If selected for an interview, Dr. Becker will contact you.  Dr. Becker is currently reviewing applications for the 2024. Apply ASAP.  Interviews will occur around September 30 and into October, 2024. 


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