As RSPB Kazakh Steppe Protected Areas Ecologist, you will play a pivotal role in a team working closely with both RSPB’s Head of Ecology and Kazakh Steppe Project Manager as well as colleagues focusing on communities, conservation science and capacity development who are assisting our Kazakh partners to establish and make operational the steppe grassland and wetland Bokey Orda State Nature Reserve.

Senior Ecologist – Kazakh Steppe Protected Areas (Fixed-Term)
Reference: DEC20215371
Location: Flexible in UK. This position will be based at the RSPB Headquarters in Sandy and the David Attenborough Building in Cambridge with extended travel to Kazakhstan (pending Covid-19 travel restrictions), however we are open to applications from candidates looking to work remotely
Contract: Duration will be 12 months (Renewable pending project funding)
Salary: £32,400.00 – £35,944.00 Per Annum
Benefits: Pension, Annual Leave, Life Assurance
Duration: 12 Months (Renewable)

You will lead RSPB technical assistance, knowledge transfer and capacity building relevant to Protected Areas Management at Bokey Orda State Nature Reserve in Kazakhstan focussing on three specific work areas of:

  • Collating, commissioning, analysing and interpreting scientific and socioeconomic data so that only the best available information from Bokey Orda is available to the project partners to develop effective site management recommendations
  • Facilitating jointly the development, consultation and adoption by the Government of Kazakhstan of a 5-year Site Management Plan with clear prescriptions for conserving key habitats, monitoring species and the wider environment, and managing both visitors to and local communities around Bokey Orda to maximise nature benefits and sustainability
  • Evaluating jointly with ACBK counterparts the capabilities of newly appointed State Nature Reserve staff then designing and undertaking office and field-based training to build their capacity to implement the Site Management Plan and using all technical equipment provided safely and effectively


  • Master’s Degree in biodiversity conservation, reserve management or related fields, or extensive comparable experience
  • Direct work experience in developing evidence-based participatory Site Management Plans for large terrestrial Protected Areas with strong community engagement and stakeholder consultation
  • Direct work experience in managing or restoring temperate grassland and wetland habitats within protected areas, preferably in a Central Asia, European or North America context
  • Proven ability to work internationally with cultural sensitivity in diverse teams, effectively coordinating people who you don’t manage, building capacity where needed, and positively motivating and empowering colleagues with equality and respect
  • Proven ability of capacity building for practitioners for protected areas planning participation, covering topics including: Site management planning and review; Risk assessment and mitigation plus health & safety; Site-based data gathering, processing and storage; Community/stakeholder engagement, community relations and conflict resolution: Patrolling, evidence gathering and police liaison


  • Experience in using the Spatial Monitoring and Reporting Tool (SMART) software and mobile App designed to improve anti-poaching efforts and overall law enforcement effectiveness in established conservation areas and management zones
  • Direct work experience in remote rural community engagement and livelihood creation using microenterprises in the buffer zones of large terrestrial protected areas or conserved areas
  • Evident diplomacy skills to engage and negotiate, solve problems and avoid or overcome challenges working with people from diverse sectors and backgrounds
  • A flexible creative approach, with the ability to work under pressure and adapt to changing circumstances, working from the strategic big picture to operational details
  • Accomplished spoken and written communication skills in English to enable stakeholders’ understanding of project objectives and outcomes, plus experience working with interpreters

This is an exciting fixed-term full-time position intended to start at the earliest opportunity. You will be managed by the RSPB’s Head of Ecology within the Global Conservation Directorate.

The successful candidate will ideally be based near the RSPB’s Headquarters in Sandy, Bedfordshire (with extended travel to Kazakhstan), however we are open to applications from candidates looking to work remotely.

Closing date: 23:59, 16 January 2022
Please note that you will be required to be available for an interview during the week beginning 24th January 2022.

To Apply

Please click the ‘apply’ button to be redirected to our website to complete your application.