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Gerardo with mountain chicken

The Durrell Conservation trust has opportunities to work in the field. See here for the latest

http://www.durrell.org/In-the-field/

Volunteer opportunity in Montserrat, West IndiesEdit

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Closing Date: Monday 10 January '11

As part of an international collaboration to save the mountain chicken frog from extinction, there is an opportunity for highly motivated volunteers to get involved and support field work on the Caribbean island of Montserrat for this Critically Endangered species.Edit

In Feb 2009 the deadly chytrid fungus was discovered on the island of Montserrat, threatening populations of the already endangered mountain chicken frog. With the fungus already devastating populations in Dominica, the only other island in the world where these frogs are still found, a collaboration was established between Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust, London Zoo, Chester Zoo, Parken Zoo and the Government of Montserrat, called the Mountain Chicken Recovery Programme to take frogs into a bio-secure captive breeding programme. In Montserrat the MCRP has initiated a field conservation project, supported by the UK Government’s Darwin Initiative, to study the frog and lead reintroductions. With the breeding programme being so successful, we are now ready to bring frogs back to Montserrat to trial a pioneering introduction of this species to its natural habitat.

In order to achieve this, we require the support of two volunteers to work alongside our Montserratian field team to radio track and monitor the frogs once released. We are looking for two people who are able to commit to four months starting around 15th January 2011.

Volunteer activities will be focused around intensively tracking and searching for released frogs and taking samples and data in the field. Training will be given in radio tracking, handling of amphibians and bio-secure techniques. Volunteers will also be responsible for the inputting of data and writing blog posts for the website.

Ideally, applicants will have a background in biological sciences, experience of working in the tropics and previous radio tracking experience. However, as the work will be at night and sometimes long hours involved, flexibility, commitment and determination to work, under sometimes uncomfortable or frustrating conditions, combined with good physical fitness and careful attention to data recording are the most important attributes we look for.

Volunteers will need to cover their own flights, vaccinations, personal equipment and insurance but the project will cover in-country costs for basic subsistence and accommodation.

This is the ideal opportunity for someone looking for practical conservation experience working with some of the world's most threatened species. However, the nature of this work requires the volunteer to be focussed and self-motivated. Working hours are long and fieldwork will take place 6 nights per week with one day off. However, as fieldwork is at night, volunteers have the days to rest and relax. Also the opportunity to live and work in a tropical country on real conservation projects will be more than compensation for this for the right candidates.

If you wish to apply, please contact recruitment@durrell.org with a cover letter and CV. For more information about the volunteer post, please contact: sarah-louise.smith@durrell.org. A short interview will be arranged by phone with the project leader based in the region. Deadline for applications: 10th January, 2010.

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