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Dustilovesbirds!

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  1. Ecuador Andes Bird Banding Assistants Volunteers sought to assist with a long-term avian monitoring and conservation project in the Andes of western Ecuador, Summer Team: August 4-17, 2019 Meets in Quito on morning of August 4th. Life Net volunteer banding assistants help international scientists, Dr. Dusti Becker, Kevin Shaw, and Alex Penn monitor birds at the Las Tangaras Reserve, Mindo, Ecuador. The team aims to advance scientific understanding of cloud forest avian communities, including avian responses to deforestation, forest recovery, habitat loss, and climate change. Your participation contributes to maintaining this unique protected area in a biodiveristy hotspot in Ecuador. Reserva Las Tangaras, a 50-hectare nature preserve boasts more than 30 species of hummingbirds, dozens of colorful tanagers, the largest regional Andean cock-of-the-rock display lek, and over 300 tropical bird species, many of which are Choco and Andean endemics. The reserve is also home to endangered capuchin monkeys, spectacled bear, cougar, and myriads of other wildlife species. Volunteers set up and monitor mist nets, extract birds from nets, carry birds from nets to a banding station, and record basic ecological data in the field. Training in handling, measuring and banding is included, but previous experience is desirable. Volunteers will have time to explore the Mindo area, and the team will visit the higher-elevation Bellavista Cloud Forest Reserve on the final day of the project. Accommodation is in a large research cabin where you will have a simple bed with mosquito netting, showers, & indoor flush toilet. Meals are delicious home-style Ecuadorian prepared by experienced local cooks. The cost-share donation of $1650 covers transportation in Ecuador, meals, and lodging during the conservation research program, reserve fees, salaries for Ecuadorian cooks and para-biologists, and all entrance fees and special lunch at Bellavista Reserve. Airfare to and from Ecuador and expenses in Quito are not included. Your cost-share donation helps to cover costs associated with hosting the volunteer team and also contributes to annual stewarship of the Las Tangaras Reserve such as educational programs about cloud forest wildlife, stipends for reserve stewards, maintainance of trails and signs, repairs, preventing damage to the local ecosystem, and feeding resident hummingbirds. Cost share donations provide around 60% of the annual funding to sustain the protected area. The conservation expedition begins and ends in Quito, Ecuador. Contact Dr. Dusti Becker at dustizuni@yahoo.com for further details and an application form. Experience with mist-netting is desirable, but not required. Students, recent graduates and others looking for hands-on training and resume building experience will benefit greatly from this project. Visit https://lastangaras.wordpress.com/who-are-we/for more details about Life Net Nature and Reserva Las Tangaras. To apply, email a brief cover e-letter detailing your experience and interest in participating on the team to Dr. Dusti Becker, dustizuni@yahoo.com. (Resume is optional, and helpful). Dr. Becker will send you more information and an official Life Net Nature volunteer application form.
  2. Ecuador Andes Bird Banding Assistants Volunteers sought to assist with a long-term avian monitoring and conservation project in the Andes of western Ecuador, Summer Team: August 4-17, 2019 Winter Team: December 2-15, 2019 (Includes Mindo Christmas Bird Count) Life Net volunteer banding assistants help international scientists, Dr. Dusti Becker Kevin Shaw, and Alex Penn monitor birds at the Las Tangaras Reserve, Mindo, Ecuador. The team aims to advance scientific understanding of cloud forest avian communities, including avian responses to deforestation, forest recovery, habitat loss, and climate change. Your participation contributes to maintaining this unique protected area in a biodiveristy hotspot in Ecuador. Reserva Las Tangaras, a 50-hectare nature preserve boasts more than 30 species of hummingbirds, dozens of colorful tanagers, the largest regional Andean cock-of-the-rock display lek, and over 300 tropical bird species, many of which are Choco and Andean endemics. The reserve is also home to endangered capuchin monkeys, spectacled bear, cougar, and myriads of other wildlife species. Volunteers set up and monitor mist nets, extract birds from nets, carry birds from nets to a banding station, and record basic ecological data in the field. Training in handling, measuring and banding is included, but previous experience is desirable. Volunteers will have time to explore the Mindo area, and the team will visit the higher-elevation Bellavista Cloud Forest Reserve on the final day of the project. Accommodation is in a large research cabin where you will have a simple bed with mosquito netting, showers, & indoor flush toilet. Meals are delicious home-style Ecuadorian prepared by experienced local cooks. The cost-share donation of $1650 covers transportation in Ecuador, meals, and lodging during the conservation research program, reserve fees, salaries for Ecuadorian cooks and para-biologists, and all entrance fees and special lunch at Bellavista Reserve. Airfare to and from Ecuador and expenses in Quito are not included. Your cost-share donation helps to cover costs associated with hosting the volunteer team and also contributes to annual stewarship of the Las Tangaras Reserve such as educational programs about cloud forest wildlife, stipends for reserve stewards, maintainance of trails and signs, repairs, preventing damage to the local ecosystem, and feeding resident hummingbirds. Cost share donations provide around 60% of the annual funding to sustain the protected area. The conservation expedition begins and ends in Quito, Ecuador. Contact Dr. Dusti Becker at dustizuni@yahoo.com for further details and an application form. Experience with mist-netting is desirable, but not required. Students, recent graduates and others looking for hands-on training and resume building experience will benefit greatly from this project. Visit https://lastangaras.wordpress.com/who-are-we/for more details about Life Net Nature and Reserva Las Tangaras. To apply, email a brief cover e-letter detailing your experience and interest in participating on the team to Dr. Dusti Becker, dustizuni@yahoo.com. (Resume is optional, and helpful). Dr. Becker will send you more information and an official Life Net Nature volunteer application form.
  3. Life Net Nature seeks a capable couple with backgrounds in natural area management, ecotourism, conservation biology, birding, and/or related fields to steward and live at Reserva Las Tangaras. The reserve (~150 acres) is near Mindo, Ecuador and secures habitat for native plants and animals, including many endemic species, and is home to more than 300 bird species. The reserve has one of the oldest and largest Andean Cock-of-the-Rock leks in the area. New stewards overlap with out-going stewards by two full days for training – typically an 88-day commitment at the reserve within a 90-day tourist visa (with a day at each end for arrival and departure in Ecuador). We have three openings for 2019 and one in 2020: June 22 – September 29, 2019 September 16 – December 4, 2019 (shorter than usual) January 3 – April 2, 2020 Qualifications include at least one person with the ability to communicate well in Spanish (intermediate or above), and at least one person with a university degree in a topic related to the position. We seek applicants with good people skills, experience in biology field work in the tropics, with hospitality and nature interpretation, with guiding nature or birding tours, with simple bio-regional living experiences, with wilderness, leave no trace camping ethics, with carpentry, plumbing, and building skills, with financial management and marketing experience, first aid training, and with business & common sense. Duties include cabin, trail, and property maintenance, water and septic system monitoring, transport of gas tanks, care and use of reserve tools, equipment, research materials, doing inventories and upkeep of a small library. Managers collect data on weather, dynamics of an Andean Cock-of-the Rock lek (mating display area), and record hummingbird species visiting cabin feeders. Once stewards develop skill with bird identification they keep a monthly bird list and report day surveys to eBird. Stewards sustain small organic gardens and agro-forestry projects and must maintain and expand work of previous stewards such as construction projects, repairs, ecotourism promotion and services. This is a demanding job, so good physical fitness and energetic enthusiasm are required. As a buffer property on the edge of the Mindo-Namibillo Bosque Protector, Reserva Las Tangaras provides additional habitat for wildlife at elevations typically deforested for agriculture, and more recently, for poorly regulated and harmful “adventure” tourism. Las Tangaras receives light visitation by bird-watchers, nature enthusiasts, photographers, and tropical biology researchers and students. Contributions from visitors help to sustain the reserve and fund the monthly manager stipend of $300/couple. Stewards must be capable of: 1. Hosting nature-oriented guests and visitors and maintaining a tidy and clean research station and guest cabin. 2. Keeping financial records and managing reservations via Airbnb, phones, & internet. 3. Maintaining all trails on the reserve and the entrance bridge 4. Improving trail(s) and signage from main road 5. Sustaining gardens and orchards, and wildlife friendly plantings 6. Using Excel & Word for monthly reports, updating and recording data, 7. Completing a quality blog entry (at least monthly 8. Doing regular emails with Life Net, sending thank you emails to guests, and contributing to eBird. The reserve is an incredible place to live, and research and photographic opportunities abound. Stewardship couples receive a $300/month cost of living stipend to be used for their needs and for costs of managing the reserve. Stewards may earn additional income by providing food and beverages, and by offering guide services to visitors. Longer contracts are possible, but stewards must obtain extended visas on their own prior to starting the position, and must sign a contract indicating such longer term agreements. To Apply: As one PDF document, please send 1) a joint cover letter expressing interests and qualifications of each person in the couple, 2) your two professional resumes (CVs), and 3) three easily contactable references per applicant. Email materials to Dr. Dusti Becker at dustizuni@yahoo.com.
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