Wongalara Fauna Survey
Assist the AWC ecological team with the Wongalara annual biodiversity survey
Wongalara Sanctuary, located on the South-West edge of the Arnhem Land escarpment protects 190 000ha of tropical woodlands, riparian zones, wetlands, savannah, sandstone escarpments and diverse fire sensitive heathlands.
The Australian Wildlife Conservancy (AWC) are seeking volunteers with experience in biology fieldwork to assist the AWC ecological team undertaking the annual biodiversity survey at Wongalara. During the survey the participants will use pitfall, elliot and funnel traps to capture small mammals and reptiles at monitoring sites in a variety of habitats. They will also be undertaking 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 in the middle of 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 / students of ecology or related sciences.
The fauna survey will run from the 2 August until 30 August 2017 (Volunteers will be picked up in Katherine on the 2 August and returned on the afternoon of the 30 August). Preference will be given to people who are able to commit to the entire survey period. AWC will provide a basic level of support with a weekly contribution to food costs and arranging transport between Wongalara and Katherine NT. Accommodation at Wongalara is in your own tent with access to communal kitchen and bathroom facilities, volunteers are 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.