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I am looking for people to express an interest in volunteering on a predator interaction project in the northwest Tasmania between late September and December 2012. Places and dates will be confirmed closer to the time.

Background:

The Tasmanian devil is currently declining due to a serious fatal infectious cancer. Understanding interactions between the Tasmanian devil, a top predator and spotted-tailed quolls and feral cats, both mesopredators, is crucial to predict how the carnivore guild in Tasmania might change following devil decline. The aim of this project is to investigate competitive interactions between Tasmanian devils, spotted-tailed quolls and feral cats to understand if and how devils suppress populations of quolls and cats.

The project:

The first 6 weeks of the project will be spent trapping and placing GPS collars on Tasmanian devils, spotted-tailed quolls and feral cats. Once this is done we will spend 5 weeks radio-tracking and monitoring these animals. During the last week of radio-tracking 40 infrared cameras will be placed in the landscape. Finally we will attempt to trap all animals and remove collars again.

(Please note that this is just a guideline as it depends on how trappable the animals are!)

Practical information:

· Volunteers will assist with setting and cleaning traps, scribing and radio tracking.

· Accommodation and food will be provided while in the field. Volunteers will be required to cover their own accommodation and other expenses before and after fieldwork. Interstate volunteers will need to provide their own transport to and from Launceston.

· Mobile phone coverage will be limited or non-existent.

Requirements:

Volunteers must be able to commit for at least two weeks and hold a current first aid certificate and current drivers license. Volunteers should also be reasonably fit, as radio tracking will involve walking long distances.

Contact details:

If this has caught your interest please send me an email with a bit about yourself, your relative experience and available dates (min 2 weeks).

Please contact: Gini Andersen, PhD candidate, School of zoology, University of Tasmania (predator.dynamics1@gmail.com)

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