Marion Island is the larger of the two Prince Edward Islands in the south-western Indian Ocean. The islands are globally important breeding sites for seabirds and other wildlife and were afforded Special Nature Reserve status by South Africa in 1995. House Mice, inadvertently introduced by sealers in the early 19th century, are having a devastating impact on the seabirds and ecology of the island.


Informed by the outcomes of a feasibility study and internationally agreed best practice, the South African Department of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment and BirdLife South Africa are collaborating to implement an operation to eradicate House Mice to restore Marion Island and rescue its seabird populations. A special entity, the Mouse-Free Marion Non-Profit Company (MFM NPC) has been established to implement this important project, and a Project Manager was recently appointed.


There has been a small amount of media coverage to date, including through the project website (mousefreemarion.org), which also hosts a crowd-funding initiative. Media coverage has also been promoted through the MFM Facebook page, the BirdLife South Africa’s communication channels, and through articles posted on relevant conservation websites.


The recent establishment of the MFM NPC and the appointment of the Project Manager mark a step change in the project, as we intensify efforts to raise the necessary funds support to progress our planning to work towards the eradication envisaged for the winter of 2023.


To help support these efforts, we are seeking expressions of interest for a highly qualified, dedicated and dynamic Communications Manager to develop and implement the Communications Strategy and Plan for the Mouse-Free Marion Project.



The MFM Project Communications Manager will assist the Project Manager and Management Committee in developing and delivering communication aspects of the project. Communication aspects will include: content creation for and management of social media pages, newsletters for donor and project stakeholders, website content updates, and public awareness campaign content and planning.


The ideal candidate will have strong communications skills and experience, especially in the ecological and nature conservation fields, and the ability to create content for public awareness/education purposes and increase message reach across multiple platforms, especially social media.



The primary responsibility of the Communications Manager will be:

To further develop and deliver the Communications Strategy and Plan for the Mouse-Free Marion Project.

Additional responsibilities include (but are not limited to) the following:

  1. Work collaboratively with and under the direction of the Project Manager on all aspects of the project communications to ensure consistent and professional messaging across all platforms. As such the Communications Manager will:
  2. Manage the production of impactful content across various platforms, and ensure effective engagement with the project, both internally and externally.
  3. Assist with developing, maintaining and updating website content, in collaboration with the project website administrator (mousefreemarion.org)
  4. Create content for social media pages and help manage all social media platforms, including the analysis of responses to posts (to ensure optimal frequency of posts and responses).
  5. Assist with the development of social media graphics, infographics and other visual presentation materials as needed.
  6. Assist with the further development of the project Communications and Social Media Plans, including planning public awareness initiatives, to help maintain and build awareness of the importance of the project and to support fund raising efforts.
  7. Ensure that the Communications Strategy and Plan and associated activities are aligned with and support the fund-raising strategy, which will be developed shortly.
  8. Work in tandem with the fund-raiser to achieve these outcomes.
  9. Develop and maintain a Communications Monitoring system for the project.


  2. At least 2-3 years proven experience in popular Science Communications, ideally association with conservation work in South Africa. A qualification related to any of these fields is recommended.
  3. Proven experience in developing communications plans and conducting public awareness campaigns (please refer to these in your application).
  4. Knowledge in brand building.
  5. Proven experience of website management and content creation.
  6. Thorough understanding of media relations and digital media strategies.
  7. Experience and proficiency with all social media platforms.


  2. A track record of delivering to tight deadlines without compromising on quality.
  3. Experience in developing communications plans and conducting awareness campaigns (please refer to these in your application).
  4. Strong attention to accuracy and detail.
  5. The ability to draft informative communication documents for a variety of audiences.
  6. Knowledge of and experience in graphic design (and Graphic Design tools such as Photoshop or similar) for the development of infographics and other visual awareness materials
  7. Strong interpersonal and communication (especially written) skills.
  8. Ability to convince, inspire and influence a wide range of people, both internally and externally.
  9. Ability to work independently, problem solve, and take-initiative, while working as part of a team.
  10. Ability to nurture and foster essential relationships and partnerships with collaborators, potential funders and public audiences.
  11. Ability to work under pressure and adapt to changing circumstances (be able to organise and prioritise).
  12. Excellent research, analytical and problem-solving skills.


  2. The Communications Manager will report to the Project Manager and the Project Management Committee.
  3. The Communication Manager may be based at a location of choice, anywhere in South Africa.
  4. The Communications Manager should be suitably equipped to communicate frequently with project management and staff, and to undertake the communications (e.g. have a suitable laptop and access to Wi-Fi with enough bandwidth).


  2. Due to the complex nature of the project, the periods of involvement will vary. Consequently, the contractor should be available, in varying degrees, for the complete duration of the project.
  3. The actual eradication operation of the Mouse-Free Marion project is scheduled to take place in the winter of 2023, with planning work for the project having already commenced.
  4. Should planning or funding requirements not be met, the eradication operation may be postponed by a year or more.
  5. This is a part-time role, and is initially available in the range of 0.25 FTE. Subsequent adjustments will be considered as the project progresses.
  6. The contract period will be 2.5 – 3 years, with a 6-month probation period.
  7. The salary will be negotiated. Any travel, accommodation and subsistence expenses in fulfilling the role will be covered, according to certain specifications.



Applicants are to submit:

  1. A detailed curriculum vitae with three contactable referees.
  2. Copies of qualifications.
  3. A copy of the applicant’s identity/passport document.
  4. A detailed motivation as to how the applicant sees her/his role in this post.
  5. A portfolio detailing previous projects successfully executed.


Please note:

  1. All applications will be treated in the strictest confidence.
  2. Applicants submitting an expression of interest may be required to attend an interview (by Zoom) and be subjected to a verification process, which may include a relevant assignment).
  3. The Mouse-Free Marion NPC Board reserves the obtain independent references.
  4. The Mouse-Free Marion NPC Board reserves the right not to make an appointment.


Assumption of contract:                    We hope to make the appointment from 1 July 2021.

Closing date for applications:            07 May 2021.


To apply, please e-mail your expression of interest to Dr Isabel Human, at isabel.human@birdlife.org.za, with the subject title MOUSE-FREE MARION COMMUNICATIONS MANAGER.

For further information, contact Mr Mark D. Anderson, MFM Management Committee Chairperson, on ceo@birdlife.org.za.