Call for Goat Removal Intern for fieldwork on Redonda (Antigua, West Indies), November 2016

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Just in case you have nothing to do this November . . . this sounds fascinating!

Goats were first recorded on Redonda in the early 1700s and are considered to be a rare breed of national importance. Adult males are noted for their long, spiralled horns. Centuries of overgrazing have left Redonda almost entirely devoid of vegetation cover, however, and many animals have starved to death in recent years. The Government of Antigua and Barbuda has identified the need to remove the entire herd to prevent further suffering and to enable the island’s native biodiversity to recover.

Only approximately 70 goats currently remain. Antiguan stakeholders have requested the goats be caught alive where possible and moved to enclosed farmland on Antigua where the breed will be studied and conserved by the Department of Agriculture. An operational plan for their removal has been developed by Dr Karl Campbell (Island Conservation) in consultation with the Department, Fauna & Flora International (FFI) and other partners. The live capture phase will use a self-mustering corral that contains water to lure the goats.

The Goat Removal Intern will help to monitor the corral, ensure captured goats are fed and watered, and assist in securing the goats and loading them onto the helicopter. He or she may also assist in monitoring wildlife and other conservation duties as directed.

The project aims to ensure no goats remain by the time that the operation to eradicate Redonda’s black rat population begins in early 2017. The removal of these alien mammal species is expected to have major benefits for the island’s native wildlife, including rare plants, globally important seabird colonies, and Critically Endangered endemic lizards.

This internship is being offered by FFI on behalf of all the organisations involved in the Redonda Restoration Programme, including the Government of Antigua and Barbuda, the Environmental Awareness Group, the British Mountaineering Council, Island Conservation and Wildlife Management International Ltd.

For more information, please contact Dr Jenny Daltry, jenny.daltry@fauna-flora.org).

A recent media release about the project, containing photos of the island, can be viewed at: http://www.fauna-flora.org/news/captivating-caribbean-island-to-be-given-a-new-lease-of-life/

The intern will camp on Redonda for extended periods to conduct the following tasks under the direction of the Goat Removal Adviser (Peter Haverson) and Programme Coordinator (Shanna Challenger).

Start Date: 1st November 2016

Duration: 4-5 weeks total

Location: Redonda and Antigua, West Indies

Expenses: This is an unpaid internship. FFI will provide some expenses such as food, accommodation and economy airfare to Antigua, and transport (by helicopter) between Antigua and Redonda.

Hours: Fieldwork will be conducted during daylight hours only, with an extended rest period at midday. The intern will typically spend 5 days working on Redonda each week and two days resting on Antigua, but must be willing to be flexible in case of changes in transport schedule, weather and other factors.

Please note: Redonda is an arid island with very challenging terrain, including high cliffs and rough boulder fields over much of the island. As there is little natural shade, this internship is not suitable for persons who do not cope well with high temperatures. Applicants should have excellent English language skills and camping experience. The living conditions on Redonda will be very basic, but tents will be provided. Applicants should also be aware that the island has a very high density of rats.

Expressions of interest, consisting of a statement of interest and a full CV should be submitted electronically to Dr Jenny Daltry at jenny.daltry@fauna-flora.org

Please mark your application ‘Goat Removal Intern, Redonda’.

The closing date for expressions of interest is 5th October, 2016.

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