Reserve Biodiversity Monitor and Surveyor (Curlew LIFE project field team - Curlew)

Opportunity image

Available from 28 February 2022 to 29 July 2022

Join the field team as a curlew surveyor and help deliver key aspects of the Curlew LIFE project on the mesmerising RSPB reserve Insh Marshes!

The curlew is of key conservation concern in the UK due to sharp declines in their range and numbers in the last 30 years. Long-term monitoring efforts have found that the structurally rich floodplain on Insh Marshes supports a stable population of curlew in high densities. However, little is known about curlew behaviour, chick survival rates and predator interactions on the quasi-natural functioning floodplain. The UK-wide, EU LIFE funded, Curlews in Crisis project, wants to answer some of these questions and establish Insh Marshes as a site of curlew conservation excellence within the local community.

This interesting role will involve:

  • Looking for curlew nests by interpreting adult curlew behaviour from vantage points and monitoring broods throughout the breeding season (April-July, flexible, at least twice a week).
  • Submitting your survey maps for another individual to input.
  • Following the RSPB policy for lone working and holding sensitive data.

Desirable skills for this role will be:

  • Experience observing wildlife and a good knowledge of wildlife.
  • Organisation skills, to be able to keep reliable records of what has been seen.
  • IT skills for submitting records and keeping in touch.
  • Ability to work independently, or possibly in a small team.

A willingness to gain skills and increase your identification and/or survey knowledge to undertake this role is considered more important than actual experience. We will offer extensive training in the use of trail cameras and survey protocols to ensure that you are prepared for each individual survey. This is a really rewarding role as part of an enthusiastic team and offers volunteers a chance to develop hands on experience and skills. The role comes with an opportunity to discover Insh Marshes in a unique way, be out in nature and benefit your own health and wellbeing.

While monitoring the curlew population on Insh Marshes throughout the breeding season, volunteers will discover a story of drama and joy only nature can tell. The open floodplain is flanked by the stunning Cairngorm and Monadhliath mountain ranges. The geographical gradients provide suitable conditions for a fantastic array of habitats including open water, sedge fen, wet grassland, flower rich meadows and various types of woodland. Together they support an impressive diversity of wildlife, including breeding waders, spotted crake and osprey and nationally important populations of scarce invertebrates and plants.