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Two volunteer western lowland gorilla/agile mangabey field assistants

Montag, 08 Juni 2015 15:34 Volunteer

Position: Two volunteer western lowland gorilla/agile mangabey field assistants

Position Description: Two dedicated volunteer field assistants are needed to help with the habituation of western lowland gorillas (Gorilla gorilla gorilla) and agile mangabeys (Cercocebus agilis) at the Bai Hokou and Mongambe Primate Habituation Camps in the Dzanga Sangha Protected Areas Complex (DSPA), Central African Republic. The region is home to Indigenous BaAka hunter gatherer communities and is renowned for its high mammalian densities (including forest elephants, chimpanzees, leopards, bongos, forest buffaloes, various monkey and duiker species, and of course western lowland gorillas and agile mangabeys). The DSPA forms part of the Sangha Tri-National Landscape that spans three countries, and has been awarded UNESCO World Heritage Status.

Responsibilities will primarily include contributing to the habituation of new gorilla groups and the mangabey group, and collecting and entering data on their diet, behaviour, and ranging. Volunteers are furthermore expected to assist in camp management duties, supporting and overseeing the on-site staff and reporting to the Primate Habituation Program manager. Additional responsibilities may include: conducting phenology surveys, conducting mapping surveys, participating in large mammal surveys, and participating in work related to the health monitoring program/wildlife health laboratory. Field conditions are very remote, with limited access to modern conveniences, fresh foods and health care ('running water' is a nearby waterfall and solar electricity is intermittent). The candidate must be physically fit and may be required to work long hours in dense forest under challenging conditions. Daily contact with potentially dangerous animals such as elephants, gorillas, forest buffaloes and venomous snakes can be expected.

Qualifications/Experience: Candidates must be highly motivated, responsible, flexible, mature and amicable. Candidates must be team players who can work as part of a multi-national team under the supervision of the site manager. Candidates must also be comfortable living under isolated conditions with potentially extended periods when the volunteer is the only expatriate present in camp alongside local staff. Bachelor's or master's level students seeking to gain experience in conservation biology, primatology and/or zoology are encouraged to apply. Opportunities to conduct small, independent (non-PhD) thesis projects are available providing that studies can be carried out alongside habituation work and that research questions are in-line with the needs of the Primate Habituation Program and the Dzanga Sangha Protected Areas. Previous field experience would be extremely valuable, though openings can be considered entry-level and a 'stepping stone' for someone who is serious about a career in conservation, field research and/or wildlife eco-tourism. Many PHP volunteers have gone on to successful careers in conservation and academia. Knowledge of French is extremely useful, though a commitment to learn the local Bantu language, Sango, may suffice.

Salary: Candidates are required to seek independent funding (to cover flight, insurance, short and long-term visa, and food costs). Emergency evacuation insurance is mandatory. However, WWF will contribute 2600 USD towards costs upon successful completion of contract. Accommodation in camps (simple wooden huts) and at project headquarters will be provided.

Term of Appointment: One year starting August/September 2015

Application Deadline: July 5th 2015
Serious candidates are asked to send a letter of interest, CV and two reference letters to the email address below. Incomplete applications will not be considered.

Contact Information: Michelle Klailova, Primate Habituation, Research and Tourism Advisor, World Wildlife Fund, Dzanga Sangha Protected Areas Complex, Central African Republic,
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