Biosecurity Officer – Cayman Islands
Reference: JUN20216595
Location: Cayman Islands
Salary: £27,574.00 – £30,590.00 Per Annum
Benefits: Pension, Life Assurance, 26 days Annual Leave (pro-rata), living allowance
Duration: 2.75 years

Want to help protect some of the most threatened reptiles on the planet and safeguard unique pockets of paradise? Keen to mentor and build the capacity of others? Are you already, or would you be happy to be, based in the Cayman Islands for just under three years? If so, this could be the job for you!

This exciting role is funded through the Darwin Plus Initiative project: Safeguarding Cayman’s Sister Islands from Invasive Species’. The successful candidate will be based with our partner organisation, the Cayman Islands Department of Environment. Focussing on protecting the largely undeveloped Sister Islands (Cayman Brac and Little Cayman), the role will be securing the future for Cayman’s environmental flagships, home to the Territory’s only RAMSAR site and its most internationally significant wildlife, from the impact of invasive species.

Invasive Alien Vertebrates (IAV) pose a major yet largely unmanaged threat on Cayman’s Sister Islands. Feral cat predation has resulted in catastrophic native species declines whilst invasive green iguanas are spreading from Grand Cayman. With a background in invasive non-native species management, you will strengthen Territory-wide biosecurity and implement IAV management with local communities, building knowledge, capacity and support for effective and sustainable action.

As a natural communicator and problem-solver, you will find the challenge of establishing the first attempt at holistic management for invasive vertebrates in the Cayman Islands an exciting and rewarding role.

Job Overview

The Biosecurity Officer will be responsible for auditing extant biosecurity arrangements and the development of biosecurity plans for Little Cayman and Cayman Brac (the Sister Isles), inclusive of Grand Cayman as a source of invasions, and will assist with invasive species monitoring and control activities. The ideal candidate will be a confident individual who is passionate about keeping the Sister Isles free from invasive species, to protect their unique wildlife as natural resources key to nature based tourism that underpins their economies.

The candidate should have a strong background in invasive species management, have experience in wildlife monitoring, be a strong communicator, have an ability to coordinate with a wide range of stakeholders at all levels, and must be comfortable with making and delivering challenging decisions.

Ideally, the candidate should have a solid understanding of the operational framework of the Cayman Islands’ Government and be able to deliver results within and across departments.

Responsibilities & duties

  • Investigate and assess current biosecurity measures and gaps
  • Work with decision-makers in government departments and private sector to agree solutions for identified gaps and problems
  • Lead and coordinate development of a comprehensive biosecurity plan for the Sister Isles
  • Secure enhanced and adequate biosecurity monitoring and inspections at formal ports of entry working with relevant barge, port and airport staff, and implement remote monitoring of informal landing sites on Little Cayman
  • Provide biosecurity training and training schedules where needs are identified
  • Establish regular communication with all key stakeholders to ensure that agreed protocols and procedures are being followed (e.g. airport and port staff, shipping companies etc.).
  •  Initiate rapid responses to signs of invasive predators arriving on the Sister Isles

Essential skills, experience and behaviours:

  • Degree level qualification in a relevant subject or ability to show equivalent work experience
  • Experience in planning and implementing biosecurity measures on small islands
  • Understanding of invasive species including identification, biology, impacts on native wildlife and appropriate responses and interventions
  • Knowledge of a range of delivery mechanisms for conservation work in relation to invasive species to enable recommendation to local agencies of appropriate responses and interventions
  • Experience of surveying, protecting and/or managing important sites, species or habitats
  • Ability to work effectively as a team player
  • Excellent communication skills (verbal, written and presentational) – including an ability to speak confidently to a variety of audiences
  • Ability to rapidly analyse significant quantities of information, prioritise and balance a diverse workload, often to tight deadlines
  • Competent user of core MS Office programmes
  • Demonstrates a willingness to make decisions and take action
  • Demonstrates adaptability and quick decision-making
  • Good attention to detail
  • Is prepared to take on new challenges outside their comfort zone
  • Makes the effort to collaborate with others, even when under pressure
  • Always assumes positive intent in others
  • Constantly looks for ways to improve the way things are done

Desirable skills, experience and behaviours:

  • Experience of negotiating with the public or private sector, to deliver biodiversity benefits, through both regulatory and voluntary means
  • Experience of productive partnership working
  • Confidence in advocacy to stakeholders holding differing views
  • Experience of public engagement work
  • Specialist conservation knowledge in relevant areas

This role will report to the Manager, Terrestrial Resources Unit, Cayman Islands Department of Environment, and the RSPB Project Leader.

Closing date: 23:59, 01 August 2021
We are looking to conduct interviews for this position on 10th & 11th August 2021.