Curlew Monitoring Officer
Reference: JAN20234016
Location: Upper Lough Erne
Salary: £21,622.00 – £23,987.00 Per Annum
Benefits: Pension, Life Assurance, 26 days annual leave
Duration: Full-Time (37.5 hrs per week) – 6 months

RSPB Northern Ireland are looking for two enthusiastic individuals with experience in monitoring breeding birds to fill seasonal posts to monitor breeding wader populations in Lough Erne, one of the last strongholds for Northern Irish curlews.

What’s the role about?
Curlews and other breeding wader species in the UK have seen major population declines due to large-scale landscape changes throughout the 20th century which has resulted in habitat loss and increased generalist predator numbers. Northern Ireland curlews specifically have declined by 82% since the 80’s, with only an estimated 250 pairs left we are in a race against time to stabilise and reverse this population decline.

As part of a UK-wide project funded through the EU LIFE programme to halt the decline of curlews, RSPB NI aims to deliver landscape-scale conservation at Lough Erne, now hosting 25% of Northern Ireland’s and 20% of the island of Ireland’s breeding curlews.

Your role will be to collect data on the breeding ecology of curlews. This will include mapping the distribution, abundance and behaviour of breeding curlews and other bird species, habitat surveys, predator surveys (e.g. via fox scat surveys) and data entry.

You will also be working along-side the Conservation Officer to help provide more hands-on conservation work such as nest finding and erecting nest protection fences.

Key activities will include:

  • Conducting breeding wader surveys following modified O’Brien & Smith methodology in Lough Erne.
  • Conducting habitat mapping and assessments.
  • Conducting predator scat surveys.
  • Data entry and upkeep.
  • Developing and upkeeping relationships with stake-holders and land-owners.

What we need from you

  • You will have working knowledge of the wildlife and habitats of the area and experience in monitoring and surveys.
  • Ability to identify a wide range of breeding 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 navigate using a map, compass and GPS.
  • Capable of keeping accurate and legible records of data collected in the field.
  • Practical experience of quantitative habitat surveys.
  • Full drivers’ licence and access to a vehicle for the duration of the contract

This is a fantastic opportunity to play your part in delivering RSPB’s conservation work within a landscape rich in wildlife and important for people.

Additional Information
This role is Full-Time working 37.5 hours per week and is a 6-month contract.
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.


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.

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

No agencies please.