Location: Osa Conservation Campus, Osa Peninsula, Costa Rica
The Osa Peninsula supports the largest stands of mature tropical rainforest left on the entire Pacific coast of Mesoamerica, and provides one of the most important wintering areas for neotropical migratory birds in Central America, as well as important stopover habitat for birds heading to and from South America. Osa Conservation (OC), through community-led restoration, is working to restore habitat in the Osa Peninsula and to create a climate adaptive corridor that connects wintering habitats for neotropical birds and others with Piedras Blancas National Park and the La Amistad International Park. This corridor will help connect key focal wintering areas for species such as the Golden-winged Warbler, Prothonotary Warbler, and Olive-sided Flycatcher. The corridor will also provide habitat for apex birds of prey like the Crested Eagle. However, research is still needed to understand the conservation potential and restoration impacts on bird populations.
The Ornithologist will lead bird monitoring with a special focus on species of concern highlighted by the Neotropical Migratory Birds Conservation Act via traditional monitoring techniques and new monitoring technologies. Producing and communicating results with local communities and neotropical migratory bird initiatives and research groups. This position will also lay the groundwork for rewilding Harpy Eagles in the Osa Peninsula, exploring and understanding the ecological, economic and social factors to make it a success. In addition, the ornithologist will assess passive bird rewilding techniques – such as nesting boxes to generate new information for tropical bird conservation. Finally, this person will be an eBird Ambassador, reviewing data generated by citizen scientists, training citizen scientists and collaborating with initiatives and activities for eBird Central America.
Roles and responsibilities:
Neotropical Migratory bird conservation research
- Coordinate the execution of bird points counts to establish a baseline for long-term monitoring of neotropical migratory birds focusing on the Golden Winged Warbler, the Prothonotary Warbler, and the Olive-sided Flycatcher, in response to restoration along an elevational corridor in the Amistosa Biological corridor. Analyze and communicate the results with a special focus on the three species listed above and the 10 key/focal species identified by the Neotropical Migratory Bird Conservation Act (NMBCA), to national and international migratory bird conservation groups and initiatives.
- Analyze the conservation potential for local and migratory bird species in the Amistosa corridor under different potential restoration scenarios and habitat suitability. This assessment will build on baseline data available.
- Manage and analyze data from the 3 Motus towers installed on Osa Conservation properties, contributing results to National and International Neotropical Migratory Bird conservation groups and initiatives. Increase capacity of the Motus by deploying 10 motus nanotags on focal migratory species, targeting Golden-winged Warblers in the AmistOsa region.
Harpy Eagle rewilding initiative
- Design and execute a social assessment to understand the perspectives of the local people and the pre-existing distribution of Harpy Eagles and perception of rewilding this species in the Osa region.
- Produce a technical report and proposal, including key aspects such as; a list of collaborators, permits required, team requirements, location for handling and releasing birds, monitoring success, community outreach plan and funding requirements.
- Connect with Global Harpy Eagle rewilding and conservation initiatives to communicate our work and establish international collaborators to lay the groundwork for rewilding Harpy Eagles in the Osa Peninsula.
Citizen Science and outreach
- Become an eBird Ambassador for the Osa and AmistOsa region via organizing eBird Big Days and trainings with research groups and local communities in collaboration with the San Vito Bird Club, exploring data to produce summaries for the region and share these results with the local community of citizen scientists.
- Connect with eBird Central America to put the region on the map and collaborate with International eBird initiatives and activities.
- Take students and visitors on bird hikes/trips in the Osa Conservation Campus and to see projects and deliver high level communications.
- Host talks at local lodges to guests about Osa Conservation’s work, and bird research and conservation efforts as requested
- Other tasks as assigned by the supervisor to advance the mission of the organization
What skills are needed to do this job?
- BSc level degree in wildlife, biology or environmental conservation topic. M.Sc. Desirable.
- A passionate ornithologist and birder who can execute holistic bird conservation approaches.
- Knowledge and experience in the region’s bird community, particularly neotropical migratory species and monitoring methods to assess the region’s bird community.
- Knowledge or interest of Harpy Eagle ecology and conservation combined with a passion to rewild this megafauna species in the Osa Peninsula.
- Knowledge or interest in the social and economic aspects of bird conservation, rewilding, and ecotourism.
- Mist netting and bird ringing experience required, license to execute bird ringing in Costa Rica is desirable.
- B1 driver’s license (automatic and manual).
- Fluent in Spanish and English (oral and written communication).
- Personal attributes: passionate, initiative, positive attitude, innovative, hard-working, ability to work under pressure, results focused, problem solving, good communication, good presentation skills and able/comfortable to travel throughout Costa Rica by themselves.
- Experience working in difficult field conditions for long hours in a tropical rainforest environment (need to be physically fit and healthy).
- Excellent computer skills – Office programs, Gmail and Google Calendar, data management and knowledge or basic skills in analysis (R software), and mapping (QGIS/ArcGIS).
- Good scientific writing skills, experience publishing in peer-reviewed journals.
- Good teamwork and leadership skills and experience working as part of a multicultural team.
- Willing to live and work in a remote research station, and travel as needed.
How to apply:
To apply please send a CV and cover letter to [email protected] with subject line “Ornithologist” by the 4th February, 2022. All applicants who do not follow this guide will not be considered. Only successful applicants continuing to the interview stage will be contacted. We especially welcome applicants from Costa Rica and Latin America.