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Closed: 03 March 2014

Turtle Dove Fieldwork Assistant Internship

Posted by RSPB

Location East of England
Category Training
Sectors Environment
Job Reference : 5402

Job Description

Turtle Doves are declining rapidly in the UK, and we are currently testing a potential new agri-environment option aimed at providing food for the birds when they return from Africa in the spring. We have six farms with trial seed plots, and six control farms with no seed plots, and we need to collect data on where the Turtle Doves on both farm types are foraging and nesting, as well as data on the vegetation structure in trial plots, and their use by other species (e.g. pollinators). We also need to collect data on the outcome of any nesting attempts in order to assess breeding success. We aim to radiotag up to 30 Turtle Doves on these 12 farms during June 2014, and need fieldwork assistants to help us collect as much information about these birds as we can, to tell us whether the trial seed plots are being used by Turtle Doves, and if not then where the birds are foraging.

3 roles available in Essex and Cambridgeshire/Norfolk

We will provide training in radio-tracking and other elements of fieldwork, and experience of whoosh netting, handling and fitting radio-tags to Turtle Doves.

You will gain experience in collecting field data through radio-tracking, locating of foraging and nesting sites, and monitoring of vegetation structure and plot use. Where foraging sites are located through radio-tracking or direct observation of foraging birds, you will collect vegetation and habitat data to determine where Turtle Doves prefer to forage.

You will be involved (to a greater or lesser extent, depending on your interests) in analysis and writing up of the data, and potentially in the co-authoring of a publication in a peer-reviewed journal.

Most importantly, you would be directly contributing to the future conservation of this iconic farmland bird in the UK.

- Good basic knowledge of British wildlife, their habitats and conservation priorities
- Capable of keeping accurate and legible records of data collected in the field
- Ability to undertake demanding fieldwork (long hours/ early starts) and willingness to work unsociable hours when necessary
- Ability to work under own initiative, whether alone or as part of a small team
- Good observational skills; good map reading skills; experience using a compass
- Able to regularly travel to, from and within remote locations not served by public transport
- Willingness to work unsociable hours when necessary
- Self motivation; ability to work independently and manage their own work programme to a large extent

- Previous experience of bird fieldwork
- Previous work on farmland
- Experience of liaising with landowners and negotiating land access
- Bird handling experience
- Plant ID skills
- Experience of nest finding

Appropriate training will be provided and expenses will be re-imbursed where necessary.

Closing date for applications: 3rd March 2014

The RSPB is the UK charity working to secure a healthy environment for birds and wildlife, helping to create a better world for all of us.

Our internships are designed to offer work experience. However, doing an internship does not, unfortunately, guarantee future employment with the RSPB. Interns are welcome to apply for our paid vacancies, but for obvious reasons, an intern would need to have proven themselves in their current role before their volunteering experience will assist an application for a paid post.

The client is happy to conduct telephone interviews for overseas candidates.

This job is suitable for a recent graduate.

The client requests no contact from agencies or media sales.

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