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

Grant RW Humphries, March 21, 2016

The Christmas Island Seabird Project is looking for spontaneous seabird enthusiasts to help with field work on Christmas Island, Indian Ocean (Australia), that was made possible by last minute funding.

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 Abbott’s Booby, Christmas Island Frigatebird and Golden Bosun.

Fieldwork will take place from April 22 until May 20. The work will focus on frigatebirds, in particular the critically endangered Christmas Island Frigatebird, but might also include work on Abbott’s and/or Brown Boobies. The work will include nest search and monitoring, colony surveys but we will also try to deploy/retrieve data loggers and satellite tags if conditions permit.

Christmas Island has tropical climate and vegetation. Temperature and humidity are often high and the terrain is sometimes difficult (cliffs and pinnacles on the coast, vines and thick understory in the rainforest). Thus, fieldwork can be hard and physical fitness 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.

Experience in (sea)bird surveys and monitoring, seabird handling, and a valid driver’s licence are required. Work experience in tropical environments, skills in tree- and/or rock climbing, experience in data logger/Ptt attachment/retrieval and in 4WD driving are a plus.

Accommodation will be provided in a research station in the rainforest. The station is fully equipped with a kitchen, showers, dormitories and a communal living room. Support for travel costs will be provided according to your experiences and skills and to the location from where you will be travelling to CI.

For more information please contact project leader Janos Hennicke ( and visit the project’s homepage (

To apply, please send your CV outlining previous relevant fieldwork experience and names and contact information of three referees to the email address above.

The position will remain open until filled.