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Seasonal Research Assistant - English Twite Recovery Project

Reference: FEB20211876
Expiry date: 23:59, 17 March 2021
Location: South Pennine Uplands, focus areas - Todmorden & Marsden
Salary: £17,004.00 - £18,255.00 Per Annum
Benefits: Pension, Annual Leave, Life Assurance
Duration:3 Months

Introduction

Twite are hardy seed eating finches that live in remote upland and coastal areas, mainly in Scotland but with small numbers in North Wales, Northern Ireland and England. The whole UK population has undergone declines, but these have been most dramatic in England with a 72% decline between 1999 and 2013.  It is now estimated that there are less than 50 breeding pairs remaining in England, the majority of which breed in the South Pennines. The English Twite Recovery Project (ETRP) was set up in 2008 with the aim of halting this decline through restoring upland meadows and pastures. We are looking for a Research Assistant to monitor the breeding Twite population in the South Pennines to determine whether our intervention work is meeting the projects aim of halting the decline.

Main duties of the role

 - To undertake a full breeding bird survey of the Twite population across selected sites. This will involve surveying all suitable nesting habitats, recording the numbers, locations and behaviour of all Twite, and noting the colour-ring combinations of marked birds. This exercise will be used to estimate the current population status

- To Monitor the breeding performance of Twite at selected sites. This will involve locating and monitoring nests to record nest contents, outcome and reasons for any nest failures. This exercise will be used to estimate the population's productivity

- To make detailed notes of all observations in the field - there will be time throughout the project to write up findings and input data to a digital database

- To use online mapping tools to record the location of any Twite spotted along with nest locations

What we need from you:

Essential:

  • The ideal candidate will have some fieldwork experience as part of a related degree, or 1 season's experience in non-professional bird surveys (e.g. WEBS, BBS)
  • Basic skills in the identification of upland birds
  • Capable of keeping accurate and legible records of data collected in the field
  • Experience of using Microsoft packages and mapping software
  • Capable of working long hours outside under difficult conditions. Walking long distances over difficult terrain may be required
  • Ability to navigate using maps, compass and GPS
  • Ability to work under their own initiative with limited supervision, whether alone or as part of a small team
  • Ability to travel to, from, and within remote locations not served by public transport. Candidates must have a full current driving licence which is valid for use in the UK

Desirable:

  • Ability to identify Twite by sight and sound (some training will be provided)
For all application/role enquiries, please contact - Katrina.aspin@rspb.org.uk