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Volunteer field assistantship for seabird research on Christmas Island, Indian Ocean

Grant RW Humphries, May 21, 2014

The Christmas Island Seabird Project is looking for field assistants to help with research on several seabird species on Christmas Island, Indian Ocean (Australia).

Christmas Island, often referred to as the “Galapagos of the Indian Ocean”, is a unique and fascinating place, famous for its Red Crabs and, of course, for its endemic seabirds, such as the Abbott’s Booby, Christmas Island Frigatebird and the Golden Bosun.

The field season will take place from July 26 until Sept 13, and fieldwork will focus on the three CI booby species (Abbott’s, Red-footed, Brown) and the Red-tailed Tropicbird. The work will include: colony surveys, nest search and monitoring, bird capture for attachment/retrieval of various data loggers and transmitters, data entry and proofing.

Christmas Island has a tropical climate and vegetation. Fieldwork will be conducted in the tropical rainforest (i.e. high humidity, some mosquitoes; but NO malaria, NO venomous snakes, or anything like that!) as well as on the coast (i.e. sun exposure, high temperatures). Thus, being in good physical shape is imperative. The work schedule will be variable, but is likely to include long hours and little free time. Enthusiasm, self-motivation, and a strong work ethic are a must.

Accommodation will be provided in a research station in the rainforest. The station is fully equipped with a kitchen, toilets, showers, dormitories and a communal living room.

Assistants will have to cover their travel expenses to and from CI (either via Jakarta or Perth, see for details). Accommodation and transport on the island will be covered by the Seabird Project. Some financial support for food on CI will be provided depending on availability and on qualifications and financial situation of the candidates.

Applicants should be interested in seabird ecology, behaviour and conservation and have to be available for the whole field season. A valid driver’s licence is required. Previous seabird experience is advantageous, skills in tree- or rock climbing and 4WD driving are a plus.

For more information please contact and visit the project’s homepage:

To apply, please send a covering letter outlining previous relevant field research experience, and a CV including names and contact information for three referees to the email address above.

The position will remain open until filled.