Curlew Life Research Assistant (Technical)
Reference: JAN20235923
Location: Glenwherry, Antrim Hills / Antrim Plateau
Salary: £21,622.00 – £23,987.00 Per Annum
Benefits: Pension, Life Assurance, 26 days annual leave
Duration: Full-Time – Five months

Are you passionate about species conservation? Interested in gaining valuable research experience, while working with one of the UKs most recognisable and most threatened bird species?

The Antrim Hills are one of Northern Irelands’ last real biodiversity hot spots, holding important breeding numbers of Curlew, Snipe, and Hen Harrier. As part of this incredible team, you will be working to help save the rapidly declining Curlew population through hands-on conservation work.

RSPB NI is looking for an enthusiastic individual with experience in nest finding and brood monitoring of breeding birds for a five-month post in the Antrim Hills.

What’s the role about?

Curlew in the UK have seen major population declines over due to large-scale landscape changes throughout the 20th century. Northern Ireland Curlew specifically have declined by 82% since the 80’s, with only an estimated 150 pairs left we are in a race against time to stabilise and reverse this population decline.

As part of a bigger UK project funded through the EU LIFE programme to halt the population declines, RSPB NI aims to deliver landscape-scale conservation at our two key research sites; Glenwherry and Lough Erne.

Glenwherry has the highest concentration of Curlew outside of an RSPB reserve in Northern Ireland. And within the last two years, Glenwherry has established itself as a forefront in curlew conservation in the UK and Ireland. Producing enough chicks in the last two seasons to be optimistic that we might have turned the tides for this iconic species within the site.

Your role will be to collect data on breeding ecology of curlew. This will include nest finding and erecting nest protection fences, while also tracking broods to assess survival and habitat use, data entry and assistance with vegetation surveys. The post holder will need to have previous experience in finding and monitoring wader nests.

Key activities will include:

  • Nest location and monitoring of Curlew.
  • Nest protection, including erecting and maintaining electrified predator proof fence.
  • Nest camera installation and maintenance
  • Conducting modified Brown and Shepard breeding wader surveys.


  • Relevant degree or equivalent work experience.
  • Practical experience of locating/monitoring nests (including nestling biometrics) (waders)
  • Ability to identify a wide range of British birds by sight and sound, specifically waders and farmland birds.
  • Ability to undertake demanding fieldwork in remote areas for long hours and in poor weather.
  • Ability to work under own initiative with limited supervision, whether alone or as part of a small team
  • Ability to navigate using a map, compass and GPS.
  • Capable of keeping accurate and legible records of data collected in the field.

Additional Information

The RSPB reserves the right to extend or make this role permanent without further advertising dependent on business needs at the end of the contract term.

Closing date: 23:59, Monday 13th February 2023
We are looking to conduct interviews for this position from the 20th of February 2023.

The RSPB is an equal opportunities employer. This role is covered by the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974.


If you would like to find out more, please click the apply button. You will be directed to our website to complete your application for this position.

No agencies please.