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  • Great-green and Scarlet Macaw Breeding Season Apprenticeship Programs

    • Employer: Macaw Recovery Network
      Location: Punta Islita, Costa Rica
      Country: Costa Rica
      Last Date to Apply: No value
      Open Until Filled: Yes

    Macaw populations have declined significantly over the past decades. The main causes are illegal poaching for the pet trade and the loss of mature forest habitat, which they rely on for feeding and nesting. MRN's vision is to see a future with thriving parrot populations in healthy, connected forests, across their former ranges. MRN’s breeding center consists of over 80 rescued non-releasable macaws, that through breeding and release of their offspring, can still contribute to the conservation of their wild relatives. Provided annually since 2016, the apprentice program has been put in place to be able to provide a high level of care for breeding pairs and their offspring, but also to function as a network of passing on our knowledge to future conservationists. 


    This Apprenticeship program helps recent graduates get the hands-on experience needed to pursue a successful career. The apprentice will be taught all they need to know to look after and manage a breeding group of Great-green or Scarlet Macaws. They will be given the responsibility of managing this group at our captive breeding program. This includes monitoring for and care of several breeding pairs and their offspring. Our program is tailored to the individual and where interested the applicant will be encouraged to be involved in other projects relevant to a conservation center. Besides learning about captive husbandry the apprentice will also learn what it takes to run a conservation organization and get experience in managing a team of volunteers, a vital and transferable skill in the practical conservation field.

    Apprentice Duties:

    •    Person would be responsible for a group of breeding birds and would get to know the birds;

    •    Daily food preparation and feeding of the breeding birds he/she is responsible for;

    •    With the relevant on-site training the applicant will be monitoring and taking care of breeding pairs and their offspring;

    •    He/she would be monitoring the health and behavior of the breeding birds;

    •    He/she would be monitoring breeding attempts to ensure eggs and chicks have the best opportunity to survive;

    •    Opportunities of learning broader skills that are involved to run a conservation center, such as background on aviary design, record keeping, volunteer management, organizational management, fundraising and much more;

    •    Regular site maintenance including aviary cleaning, providing perches and enrichment for captive birds and various other husbandry tasks;

    •    Different general maintenance or development tasks may be assigned depending on our current needs and the skills and abilities of particular interns.


    This applicant:

    -       Has an educational background in a relevant field like Veterinary, Biology or Conservation Management;

    -       Can demonstrate a commitment to conservation and/or wants to pursue a career in conservation;

    -       Has previously volunteered at a conservation organisation;

    -       Has to be comfortable being away from family and friends for longer.


    The Apprentice is expected to work 5.5 days a week. Monday to Friday from 5.30am until 5pm with a three-hour break and half a day in the weekend.

    Duration of work:

    In 2019, we will offer five Apprenticeship positions. Since both species at our breeding center have a slightly different breeding season, these are the program dates for both seasons:

    A.     Great green Macaw Apprenticeship (8 months): from the 1st of December through 31st of July. Three positions available.

    B.     Scarlet Macaw Apprenticeship (8 months): from the 1st of January through 31st of August. Two positions available.

    The application deadline for both positions is the 1st of August 2019.

    Desirable personal Qualities:

    •    Dependable and responsible

    •    Motivated and positive with a desire to contribute

    •    Interested in bird- and nature conservation

    •    Flexible, friendly, patient and optimistic

    •    Sense of humor is helpful

    Other benefits:

    •    Great experience both in terms of travel and supporting a non-profit

    •   Increased understanding and appreciation of different values and lifestyles

    •   Increased skill in creative problem-solving

    •   Increased skill in team management 

    •   Recognition Certificate if completed successfully, which will help future career. We can also connect you with other projects that might have a position available.

    Anticipated costs:

    All international and national travel costs to initially get to the site are the responsibility of the applicant. However, once on site, accommodation, daily transport, and utilities are provided. All team members buy and prepare their own food, for this we recommend you budget for at least $40 per week, or more if you like luxuries. Comprehensive insurance cover for the entire stay is a must, and should be arranged and paid for by the applicant. Doing a visa renewal trip is also the applicant's own responsibility.

    Application process:

    To apply for this position, please fill out the application form here: https://stowhire.com/macaw-recovery-network-costa-rica/apprenticeship-program.

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