Position: Wildlife Technician
Object: Eurasian lynx (Lynx lynx) monitoring and live-capture, as part of the Lynx Thuringia, Connecting European Lynx Populations project
Location of activities: Eastern Carpathians, Romania.
Start date: ~ September 2023, FULL-TIME, 1 YEAR; possibility of extension until end of the project (2027/28)
Summary – The Association for the Conservation of Biological Diversity (ACDB) is seeking to hire a hardworking and enthusiastic wildlife technician able to perform lynx monitoring and trapping activities in the Eastern Carpathian Mountains, Romania. These activities will be carried out in the Carpathians as part of the Thuringian Forest lynx reintroduction initiative: “Lynx Thuringia. Connecting Lynx Populations across Europe”. Start date is negotiable, but preferred September 1, 2023.
Working Relationships- Duties will include in assisting the project team composed by other 3 wildlife biologists and 2 field assistant volunteers for monitoring lynx population (conducting systematic and opportunistic camera trapping, snow tracking surveys, collection of genetic samples), live-lynx trapping activity using box traps, and other activities as assigned (data archiving following a specific protocol, production of scientific manuscript – technical report).
Education and training – A master’s degree in ecology, wildlife management and conservation or similar is required. Proper background in biology/ecology/conservation of Large Carnivores. Ability in recognition of wildlife signs and general knowledge in large carnivores monitoring protocols. Data storage: ability to use excel and GIS software (Q-GIS; ArcGIS). Research and report writing skills.
Knowledge, Experience, and skills – During autumn-winter activities, long hours (early morning and after dark) and weekend work will be expected. Calm and balanced personality/ability to remain focused in the face of unforeseen events is strongly required. Reading a topographic map, using a GPS device, and locating and navigating through forested areas are all required skills. Capability to walk for a long period of time and over vast distances in remote and cold places. Strong self-motivation, ability to effectively communicate with supervisors and co-workers regarding work activities and the ability to work in team, as well as alone are essential. Valid driver’s license is required. Ability to drive 4WD cars on rough terrain is preferred. Any type of previous practical experience involving field work (volunteering, internships, etc.) is a plus.
Salary and benefits – The Net Salary is 1000 €/month and includes benefits (health insurance, retirement -! subject to National legislation). Work vehicle, housing (most likely in shared bedrooms), travel within the study areas, per diem during field work days are covered.
To Apply – email your cover letter stating interest in the position, your CV, and contact information for 1 reference/one reference letter to the address below.
Please send a single document containing all application materials with your first and last name in the file name and in the email subject title (i.e., Jane_Doe_Field_Technician_Job_position_2023.pdf).
A preliminary selection of candidates will be made following the review of the CVs and recommendation letters. The evaluation procedure will end in the selection of 5 candidates. Shortlisted applicants will be invited for a Skype/Zoom/Meet interview. The candidate selected will be personally contacted by the ACDB coordinators.
Applications must be received by July 20, 2023 (11:59 p.m. EET).
Only complete applications will receive consideration.
Since the 1970s, Eurasian lynx have been reintroduced in various central European countries after being extinct for more than 100 years. Many of these reintroduction programmes have been successful in establishing demographically stable lynx populations at the local scale. However, all reintroduced lynx populations in central Europe are currently isolated from one another, with little or no genetic exchange. As a result, genetic diversity in most reintroduced groups has decreased dramatically. Continued isolation and the consequent decrease in genetic diversity endangers the survival chances of reintroduced central European lynx populations and jeopardises conservation efforts accomplished thus far. To avoid and prevent this issue, more reintroduction or population reinforcement initiatives are required, especially in so-called stepping stone habitats that may rejoin previously separated populations.
The German Federal State of Thuringia had taken its responsibility for implement a transboundary conservation strategy through the „Lynx Thuringia, Connecting European Lynx Populations” conservation programme”. The project’s purpose is to build a stepping stone population in the Thuringian Forest. The project aims to release approximately 20 lynx individuals in the central Thuringian Forest to reinforce sporadic occurrences of lynx in the area. Approximately half of the lynxes will be captured from the Romanian Carpathian Mountains. The capture and translocation activities will be complemented by tight monitoring and research programs meeting highest scientific standards. Monitoring will make sure the capture activity has no negative impact on the source population.
A consortium composed by Friends of the Earth Germany (BUND) and WWF Germany runs the Thuringian lynx initiative. The project will involve also two Romanian organisations: the Association for the Conservation of Biological Diversity (ACDB) and the Regia Naţională a Pădurilor Romsilva. In order to accomplish the activities in Romania, the Association for the Conservation of Biological Diversity (ACDB) is opening a job position with the intent to seek hardworking and enthusiastic applicants, able to work in the harsh environmental conditions of the Carpathians, Romania.
The Association for the Conservation of Biological Diversity (ACDB) is a private, non-profit organization that promotes ecological education, sustainable rural community development, and biodiversity conservation initiatives. Over the last 20 years, ACDB has been involved in several conservation projects with national, and more recently, international impact, and has been a partner in several projects aimed at large carnivore conservation, funded by the LIFE+ Nature program. The most recent is the LIFE Lynx project, during which the team members successfully captured and translocated several lynx individuals to Slovenia and Croatia.
- Monitoring activity of the Carpathian Source Population in Romania
Systematic and opportunistic camera trapping surveys, ground survey (mainly snow-tracking) and genetic analysis of the samples collected during the ground survey will help us to collect information useful to estimate the abundance of the lynx population and the distribution and movements of different individuals.
- Assessment and Selection of Sites and Lynx for Live-capture from the Carpathian Source Population in Romania
Every year, the data collect during the opportunistic monitoring surveys will be useful to determine if and how frequently lynx use the area. Within this activity we are going to work for identifying the most suitable areas and micro-locations for live-capture of animals in Romania.
- Live-capture of 10 lynxes from the Carpathian population to Thuringian Forest, and live-capture of 10 lynxes to release in situ, Romania
The goal of this action is to capture at least 10 lynxes from the selected areas in the Romanian Carpathian Mountains and translocate them to Thuringian Forest. All activities related to (i) capture; ii) quarantine; iii) transport will be carried out in compliance with specific protocols, created in respect to all legal requirements and best practices from previous wildlife capturing experiences. While at least 10 lynxes are meant to be translocated to Germany, 10 lynxes will be captured and radio-collared and released again in Romania. This will allow for a better monitoring of lynxes of the source population (e.g., spatial behaviour of the individuals, decisions relating to foraging, movement, avoidance, resting, territorial activity, mating and rearing young).
Monitor and capture activities will be performed in four regions in the eastern Carpathian Mountains of Romania: (1) Suceava 1; (2) Suceava 2; (3) Neamț; (4) Bacău (Figure 1).