Pink Pigeon Conservation

Project name:

Mauritian Wildlife Foundation (1)

Project purpose:

Pink Pigeon Conservation (bird)

Project activities:

  • animal interaction

  • animal rehabilitation

  • community awareness

  • data collection/analysis

  • habitat restoration/management

Terrestrial

Mauritius

Indian Ocean

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Weekly cost (approx USD):

$

0

Direct benefits you gain:

  • cultural integration

  • data/statistical skills

  • field research skills

  • gain a qualification or credit

  • remote scenic location

  • report writing

  • undertake your own research 

Noteworthy conservation points:

  • contributes to environmental policy

  • development goals (supporting local community)

  • ethical rehabilitation centre/practices

  • publishes peer-reviewed science

  • publishes work

Accommodation:

Basic shared accommodation

Requirements:

  • Have gained a BSc in a relevant subject

  • Have good written and spoken English

  • Have a sound knowledge of spreadsheet applications and data management

  • Preferably have a driving license for car and/or motorbike

  • Good level of physical fitness and stamina 

  • Experience working outdoors 

  • Strong observation and practical skills.

  • Strong initiative and independence; work unsupervised day to day.

  • Ability to live and work with persons from different backgrounds in remote conditions.

  • Must not be colour blind.

Facilities:

accommodation included, cooking facilities, electricity, shower (hot), toilet (western), wifi

Details of the day-to-day life on the project:

The Pink Pigeon recovery programme has seen the restoration of this endangered species from only 10 individuals in 1990 to over 470 individuals in 2018. In the last 30 years, an integrated management approach of captive breeding, releases, habitat restoration, supplementary feeding and predator control has been applied. There is one subpopulation of Pink Pigeons established on the offshore island of Ile aux Aigrettes and six more in the Black River Gorges National Park. Two of these sites, Pétrin and the Lower Black River Gorges, are open to the public and the birds can easily been seen. 

Additional subpopulations have been established in areas of good quality native forest habitat, in the Ferney Valley and Ebony Forest. This has increased the area occupied by Pink Pigeons and will help increase the population size to over 600 birds, a figure believed to be the minimum viable population size for an avian species. 

To provide birds for the additional subpopulations and to provide genetic diversity to the current populations, a captive population of Pink Pigeons has been set up at the Gerald Durrell Wildlife Endemic Sanctuary. The offspring of these birds are being released into the wild. It is planned to re-introduce birds from European zoos with genes that are missing or underrepresented in the wild on Mauritius to join the captive population for breeding purposes. 

The position
A unique opportunity to join a dynamic field team, and contribute to the conservation of what was formerly considered amongst the rarest birds in the world. 

The position offers the successful applicant the opportunity to learn a wide range of field skills covering; monitoring to identify which birds are breeding, supplementary feeding, nest location and monitoring, predator control, disease screening & treatment, bird handling including ringing of birds and collection of morphometric measurements, post mortems of both predators and dead pink pigeons. A testimonial will be provided on completion of the period testifying to the training completed.

This is an exciting opportunity to work with a species and a project that is known internationally amongst conservationists, to contribute to the recovery of the species and interact with conservation biologists from around the world. We regularly run talks and presentations given both by visiting scientists and our own staff where you will learn about other conservation recovery projects run by the Mauritian Wildlife Foundation. You will also be offered an opportunity to work on Round Island for a week or two, a predator free island closed to the public with a unique ecosystem

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