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  • Field assistants for a long-term study on the population decline of a songbird

    • Employer: Southern University of Science and Technology
      Location: Dongzhai National Reserve, Henan Province, China
      Country: China
      Last Date to Apply: 05/04/2023
      Open Until Filled: Yes

    Field assistants are needed to study the contribution of anthropogenic environmental changes (especially climate change and land-use change) to the population decline of a medium sized passerine - Hair-crested Drongo (Dicrurus hottentottus) - in central China. We start this project from 2008 with around 70 colour-ringed pairs monitored in each year. The population of drongos in our study area has declined by about one third over the last 15 years presumably due to the reduction in survival rate. By identifying the critical environmental factors that contribute to population decline via demographic rates and projecting population size under the forecasted environmental change, this project is aiming to answer the central question of biodiversity loss which is why natural population declines, and also produce appropriate management and conservation strategies. The assistants will work with a senior research scholar from Southern University of Science and Technology for the whole breeding season from early May to late July. Duties will include nest searching, mist-netting and banding birds, blood sampling, manipulating the condition of parenting birds, tracking bird movement with GPS tag, behavior observation and record, as well as any other works involved in the field. Previous experience with birds is preferred and basic training such as mist-netting and bird banding will also be provided. Personal study project that under the general project is supported. Volunteers are expected to spend near three months on the work, have strong interest in avian ecology, physically fit and be willing to work for long and irregular time in the field, and share rooms with others. All expenses in China during work period (i.e. housing, foods, and local travels, etc.) will be covered, but there is no salary, and the assistants are responsible for their travel to and from China. Volunteers will have opportunities to learn avian field research skills, see many Chinese endemic bird species (for example Reeves's Pheasant), and experience the Chinese tradition and culture.


    To Apply:
    Please send a cover letter (highlighting the date you could come and the period you could stay) and a resume (including the names, phone numbers, and e-mail addresses of at least 2 references) to Dr. Lei Lv (EM: lvlei1004@gmail.com). Feel free to contact Lei with any questions you might have.


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