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Biosecurity and Conservation Detection Dog Manager - Orkney Native Wildlife Project

Reference: MAY20240756
Expiry date: 2024-05-31 22:59:00.000
Location: Orkney Native Wildlife Project – Kirkwall Office
Salary: £32,022.00 - £34,377.00 Per Annum
Benefits: Pension, Life Assurance and Annual Leave
Duration:Until 31st December 2029.
Attachments: CandidateGuidanceNotes2023.pdf

The Orkney Native Wildlife Project started in 2018 and is a partnership between RSPB Scotland, NatureScot and Orkney Islands Council.  Its purpose is to work with local communities and landowners to undertake the world’s largest stoat eradication operation and safeguard the unique and internationally important native wildlife of Orkney and its thriving wildlife tourism industry. Funded by the National Heritage Lottery Fund (NHLF), EU LIFE and Nature Restoration Fund alongside partner contributions, the project is now in a key implementation stage and we are looking for a passionate and motivated individual to lead the delivery of the Biosecurity and Conservation Detection Dog Activities for the Orkney Native Wildlife Project. 

What's the role about? 

As Biosecurity and Conservation Detection Dog Manager, you will be a confident and capable individual with a strong background in invasive species management, ideally on islands, with excellent organisational and strategic planning skills and an ability to coordinate work across multiple sites and islands.

Working closely with the Eradication Operations Manager you will manage a Conservation Detection Dog team to ensure the successful delivery of the eradication of stoats in Orkney, prevent their spread to small islands within Orkney and put in place biosecurity measures to prevent their return to Orkney. You will work with island communities to continue the implementation of island-specific, community-led biosecurity plans for high risk islands that are currently stoat free. In addition, you will have the necessary skills and experience to train and support volunteer Biosecurity Champions in delivering these plans. You will keep our stakeholders engaged and involved during and beyond the lifetime of the project. You will coordinate an already established Biosecurity Working Group and work together to facilitate the implementation of a biosecurity strategy for the Orkney archipelago.

You will ideally have practical experience in mustelid trapping and surveillance, and a good understanding of stoat biology and behaviour. You will be familiar with, and experienced in, the use of common island biosecurity surveillance tools and use of conservation detection dogs.

Key deliverables of the role are:

  • Continue the implementation of island-specific community-led biosecurity plans for high risk islands which are currently stoat free.
  • Train and support a team of volunteer Biosecurity Champions in delivering the island specific biosecurity plans.
  • Coordinate the Biosecurity Working Group and work together to facilitate the implementation of a biosecurity strategy for the Orkney archipelago.
  • Coordinate and lead a team of conservation dog handlers to carry out eradication and  biosecurity actions as required.
  • Oversight and management of team budget working with project Finance Officer

Essential skills, knowledge and experience: 

  1. Knowledge of mustelid (stoat) biology and behaviour.
  2. Experience of using biosecurity and eradication tools.
  3. Experience of working with conservation dogs or detection dogs.
  4. Understand requirements for non-native species biosecurity and eradications.
  5. Line management experience.
  6. Experience of facilitating workshops and engaging local communities
  7. Experience of coordinating working groups.
  8. Knowledge and understanding of island biosecurity best practice and the tools and techniques available for the management of invasive non-native predators.

Desirable skills, knowledge and experience:

  1. Experience of working in remote and diverse island communities is desirable.

Additional Information

This role is based on Orkney. This is a Fixed-Term role for 37.5 hours per week until 31st December 2029.The RSPB reserves the right to extend or make this role permanent without further advertising dependent on business needs at the end of the contract term.

We are looking to conduct interviews for this position from 10th June 2024. For further information please contact

As part of this application process you will be asked to provide a copy of your CV and complete an application form including evidence on how you meet the skills, knowledge, and experience listed above.

We are committed to developing an inclusive and diverse RSPB, in which everyone feels supported, valued, and able to be their full selves. To achieve our vision of creating a world richer in nature, we need more people, and more diverse people, on nature’s side. People of colour and disabled people are currently underrepresented across the environment, climate, sustainability, and conservation sector. If you identify as a person of colour and/or disabled, we are particularly interested in receiving your application. Contact us to discuss any additional support you may need to complete your application.

The RSPB is an equal opportunities employer. This role is covered by the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974.

Before applying for this role, we recommend reading through the candidate guidance notes attached to the top of this advert.