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  • Volunteer bird monitoring & handling in the Australian outback

    • Employer: Macquarie University
      Location: Fowler's Gap Research Station, Australian outback
      Country: Australia
      Last Date to Apply: No value
      Open Until Filled: Yes

    WANTED: Volunteers

    Bird handling and monitoring for November - mid December in the Australian outback

    About the project

    We are looking for volunteers to assist in monitoring and catching Chirruping wedgebills between November and December 2023 at Fowler’s Gap research station in NSW, Australia. We study the behavioural ecology of Chirruping wedgebills using cutting edge radiotracking technology and song recordings. Specifically, we are interested in how strongly pair-bonded individuals are associated with each other. We will measure individual physiological condition, breeding success, and territory quality to test for the benefits of strong partnerships. To date, very little work has quantified partnership associations using high resolution data and multiple facets of pair-bond behaviour.

    This is an excellent opportunity to gain experience in empirical avian and behavioural research in the wild. This project is a collaboration between Macquarie University (Australia), Wageningen University (Netherlands), and University of Groningen (Netherlands).

    About the fieldwork

    We are looking for a volunteer to join us from late October/early November to mid December. Volunteers will work in the Australian outback surrounding Fowler’s Gap Arid Zone Research Station (https://www.fowlersgap.unsw.edu.au/) with a PhD student from Macquarie University and University of Groningen. As a volunteer you will:

    1.       Assist with catching, banding, and equipping wedgebills with solar-powered radiotags

    2.      Monitor the breeding behaviour of wedgebills and record their song

    3.      Conduct experiments in the field, including removal experiments, temporary feeding stations, and predator playback

    4.      Possibility to conduct research and co-author with research output

    Accommodation will be provided, and travel within Australia will be covered. We will travel with a field vehicle on site.

    Volunteer requirements

    We are looking for people who:

    1.       Have a full manual driver’s license (essential) 

    2.       Preferably have experience with mist netting and bird handling, but training will be provided

    3.       Work well in small research teams, are sociable, and have strong interpersonal skills

    4.       Are motivated to work long hours in harsh environments

    To apply, please send a motivation letter and CV to Frigg (frigg.speelman@hdr.mq.edu.au). Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions. Position is open until filled.



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