BirdLife Cyprus is looking for highly competent, experienced and hard-working fieldworkers to visit the island as full-time volunteer bird surveyors, to help with the monitoring of breeding bird species and Atlas survey work. Only one or two volunteers will be accepted for 2017, so early application is advised.

What sort of person are we looking for:

Excellent birding skills is a minimum requirement. Volunteers must be able to easily recognise all Cyprus breeding species by sight and sound or have sufficient field experience elsewhere to enable him or her to very swiftly get up to speed with Cyprus birds. Experience of birds of the Mediterranean region and of bird recording in scrubby habitats is an advantage, though this is not an absolute pre-requisite in the case of a very experienced birder.

Also essential is the ability to follow specific field survey methodologies – experience of field survey work a big advantage.

Volunteers must be hard-working, independent and committed. They need to be able to handle physical demands of long hours of field work without difficulty (summer daytime temperatures in Cyprus are regularly above 30 degrees Celsius). They must hold a valid driving license and be a good driver able to comfortably handle a ‘no frills’ pick-up truck on dirt tracks. Volunteers must also be able to navigate with confidence in relatively remote areas, so good map-reading skills and ability to work with a GPS is important.

Finally, the volunteer must also to have a calm, easy-going personality and be able to communicate with people of a different culture, remaining calm if encountering illegal shooting and/or trapping while out recording in the field (see under ‘notes’ below).

Why we need you:

The primary role of the volunteer will be to carry out monitoring surveys for common breeding birds, including the endemic Cyprus Wheatear and Cyprus Warbler, under the Common Breeding Bird Monitoring Scheme, and to gather distribution data for breeding species, under the Cyprus Breeding Birds Atlas programme, which contributes towards the new European Breeding Bird Atlas. The Atlas programme includes nocturnal surveys for owls, Stone-curlews and Nightjars. The work will be all over the island.

What’s in it for you:

Lots of attractive birds, great habitats, and a chance to spend some time in the Mediterranean, where the sun (almost) always shines. There is also the feeling of achievement that you will have at the end of the project, secure in the knowledge that you have greatly assisted with improving bird data quality and conservation efforts in Cyprus.

Financial support:

BirdLife Cyprus currently has a limited budget to help with accommodation, living and travel expenses for selected volunteers. BirdLife Cyprus will provide a vehicle and cover fuel costs. Details to be discussed, but volunteers may be expected to cover the cost of their return flight to Cyprus and part of their living expenses. BirdLife Cyprus is taking every opportunity to raise funds for this effort and should further budget become available through these efforts, we will endeavour to cover as much of the costs to volunteers as reasonably possible. Volunteers will be expected to have insurance cover during their stay in Cyprus.

Notes:

Though local BirdLife Cyprus staff and local volunteers are also involved in bird survey work, the visiting volunteer will often be required to work alone and independently within the framework of the programmes, as local resources are always stretched. Field work is all over the island, in pine forests, agricultural terrain, scrubby, hilly areas and also open, rocky areas.

Volunteers would probably be based in Nicosia or Limassol.

Cyprus does have a persistent problem with illegal bird killing. If you have a tendency to get aggressive when seeing illegal bird killing activities then this opportunity is not for you. BirdLife Cyprus has an on-going and intensive programme aimed at tackling illegal bird killing.

For further details and to apply, contact: Christina Ieronymidou, Monitoring and Research Coordinator, BirdLife Cyprus on christina.ieronymidou@birdlifecyprus.org.cy