Kimberley Fauna Survey
Assist the Kimberley AWC ecological team with the Kimberley annual biodiversity survey
Mornington, Marion Downs, Tableland, Charnley River-Artesian Range Wildlife Sanctuaries are some of Australia's largest non-government protected areas, covering a combined area of over 1.1 million ha in the Central Kimberley, east of Broome, while Yampi sound training area (managed in partnership with the Australian Defence Force), covers an area of almost 570,000 ha of the rugged West Kimberley. Combined, these properties protect a range of ecosystems associated with the tropical savanna of northern Australia, including open eucalypt woodlands, savanna grasslands, rocky, spinifex-clad ranges, and fire-protected wet gullies.
Australian Wildlife Conservancy (AWC) are seeking volunteers with experience in biology fieldwork to assist the AWC ecological team with the annual biodiversity survey across AWC’s sanctuaries in the Kimberley. During the survey the team will use pitfall, elliot and funnel traps to capture small mammals and reptiles at monitoring sites in a variety of habitats. They will also undertake vegetation assessments at all trapping sites.
Trapping is conducted in teams of three to six people and will take place in sessions of four to five days depending on the number of sites and distances they’ll need to travel. Each trapping site is open for a total of 3 nights. On average a team will open 6 sites per week, where the first two days will be spent establishing the trapping sites. The third and fourth days will be shorter, giving volunteers the opportunity to participate in other tasks and to explore the sanctuary during the day. Volunteers will work under instruction from AWC staff and will be required to adhere to AWC’s safety and animal handling guidelines.
Inherent requirements of the role:
The work is physically demanding (digging, carrying heavy equipment, walking several kilometers) and often in extreme conditions (temperatures may exceed 40 degrees), so a high level of fitness is required. For much of the time the teams camp remotely without facilities near the trapping sites, returning to base camp between sessions to do washing and replenish supplies. All volunteers should therefore carefully consider the fitness requirements and remoteness of the volunteering activity. Applicants should seek any appropriate medical advice before deciding whether to apply. If you have any questions or concerns, please discuss them with the AWC before making your application.
Preference will be given to those with experience in ecological survey or students of ecology or related sciences.
The fauna survey will run for approximately 10 weeks from mid-May to mid to late July 2017 (final dates will be announced by the end of February). We are able to accommodate volunteers for a minimum period of 4 weeks but longer stays are preferable. AWC will provide a basic level of support with a weekly contribution to food costs and arranging transport to/from Derby. Accommodation at Mornington is in your own tent with access to communal kitchen and bathroom facilities, with volunteers required to supply their own tent and sleeping gear.
Please contact Andrew Morton (Andrew.Morton@australianwildlife.org) for further information and to apply for a positon as a volunteer on the fauna survey. To be considered applicants should provide a resume or a summary of their experience. More detailed information will be sought once places are confirmed and a volunteer agreement and accompanying documentation will then be provided.