Job Alert: Freelance Bird Monitoring Project Supporter

The DCNA has announced a call for supporters for the “Monitoring for Bird Biodiversity Conservation in the Dutch Caribbean” project, planned for 2023-2027. Applicants need to contact the program BEFORE April 24, 2023.

The Dutch Caribbean Nature Alliance (DCNA) is a non-profit organization created to safeguard nature in the Dutch Caribbean by supporting the protected area management organizations (parks) on the six Dutch Caribbean islands—the Aruba National Parks Foundation (FPNA)Stichting Nationale Parken Bonaire (STINAPA Bonaire), Caribbean Research and Management of Biodiversity (CARMABI), Saba Conservation FoundationSt. Eustatius National Parks (STENAPA) and Nature Foundation St. Maarten. The DCNA has set-up working groups including representatives of all parks such as the “Research & Monitoring Working Group” (hereafter: R&M WG) for promoting and facilitating permanent dialogue, knowledge, and experience exchange and cooperation. The purpose of the R&M WG is to support research and monitoring in a structured manner on all six Dutch Caribbean islands.

Through the “Monitoring for Bird Biodiversity Conservation in the Dutch Caribbean” project the R&M WG aims to enable all Dutch Caribbean parks to actively monitor land bird populations on their islands using a standardized monitoring programme that has continuity and to be able to analyze the collected data. Developing capacity for bird conservation has been a process with several aims, one of which is to firmly establish a bird monitoring project that collects, analyzes and reports collected data as to inform and adapt management actions and evaluate conservation success.

The bird monitoring efforts will help to ensure that species under threat are identified in time to influence their long-term survival. Also, changes — or the absence thereof — in bird population sizes may indicate environmental change or stability. In this way, monitoring bird population can inform us more about nature’s “health” in general. This project will also contribute to achieving the strategic goals regarding (land)birds and their habitats as a part of the Nature and Environment Policy Plan (NEPP) by the Ministries of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality (LNV), Infrastructure and Water Management (I&W).

Description of the project: The “Monitoring for Bird Biodiversity Conservation in the Dutch Caribbean” project aims to answer the following questions on island, inter-island and regional levels:

A. Abundance of different species:

  • What is the relative abundance of birds (both general and for specific species) in different habitat types?*
  • How is the relative abundance of birds (both general and for specific species) changing over time?
  • How is the relative abundance of birds (both general and for specific species) changing per season?

B. Composition of species:

  • What is the composition of bird species in different habitat types?*
  • How is the composition of bird species changing over time?
  • How is the composition of bird species changing per season?

*This project focuses on comparisons at the community level (not on rare species), and to be able to make regional comparisons it focuses on habitat types more widely shared: a) evergreen calcareous, b) deciduous volcanic and c) higher montane bird communities.

To answer these questions, the PROALAS protocol and associated EBird tools (i.e. website and app) will be used. The project is planned for 2023-2027. Bird surveys will be performed by trained individuals from the respective parks and bird experts. Sampling will be conducted twice a year in March /April (post rainy-season) and in October/November (pre-rainy-season).  Additionally, data input, preparation, processing, storage, analysis of data output and visualition is needed for which external support is sought through this vacancy.

Tasks of Project Supporter(s) The DCNA is looking for freelance project supporter(s), who will be responsible for the following tasks:

A. One-time tasks- 2023:

  • Database set-up: Database for storage of bird monitoring data which can be used for analysis in i.e. the statistical program “R”. EBird options should be evaluated.
  • Identify the analysis and reporting needs per park/island- indicator species and specific figures (output).
  • Visualization & Analytical Tool: the development of analysis tools (i.e., scripts in Packrat for the program “R”) for bird monitoring data. This tool should be customized for each Dutch Caribbean Island regarding respective indicator species and specific figures (output) and should include explanations and instructions (i.e. a training video).

B. Yearly tasks (planned for 5 years, from 2023 onwards):

  • Data preparation. The collected data needs to be checked and (minor) mistakes corrected.
  • Data transfer. Data needs to transferred into a database so it can be analysed.
  • Data storing. Data needs to be stored safely with easy access, including storage in EBird, Dutch Caribbean Biodiversity Database,
  • Data processing. Data needs to run through the developed analysis tool and necessary information and figures needs to be extracted.
  • Report writing including presenting the outcomes.
  • Project management. Including, amongst others, communication with parks, assistance with hiring bird experts (if requested by parks), feedback on data collection, making improvements for coming years, assistance with communication and outreach of results.

Project Supporter Requirements  The following minimal requirements are expected of applicants:

  • Minimum HBO/Bachelor level.
  • A background and ample experience in data analysis.
  • Experience with writing data analysis scripts.
  • Experience with statistical programs such as “R”.
  • Good time management and organization skills.
  • Teamwork skills.
  • A perfect command of the English language, both written and spoken.
  • Interest in or experience with (Dutch) Caribbean ecology or biodiversity is appreciated.

Although it is not necessary to be located in the Dutch Caribbean, the DCNA encourages local people to apply.

Estimated timeframe and location

  • Start project supporter(s): Q2 2023
  • One-time tasks (A)- finalized by 1st of October 2023
  • Yearly tasks (B) of 2023 bird data- ready by 21st of January 2024
  • The tasks can be executed remotely from any location.

Are you interested in helping with this project? Then please apply by sending your resume, motivation, a description of why you would fit this project and for which tasks, a general action plan, and a financial offer to before 24th of April 2023.

For any questions, may be reached as well.


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