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Internships in the Isles of Scilly (1 Viewer)

Andy Webb

Active member
I thought I would post this, which I picked up from a different list.

This might be of interest for someone who wants to get a bit of conservation experience while living on St Agnes for extended periods



‘Working with communities and visitors to protect their important seabird heritage’

The Isles of Scilly Seabird Recovery Project (IOSSRP, www.ios-seabirds.org.uk) is a 25-yearpartnership project to provide a safe future for the internationally important seabird populations onthe Isles of Scilly. The project is a partnership between RSPB (Registered charity: England and Walesno. 207076, Scotland no. SC037654), Isles of Scilly Wildlife Trust, Natural England, Duchy of Cornwall,the Isles of Scilly Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) and the Isles of Scilly Bird Group. Theproject is part funded by HLF and LIFE+ Nature Fund.

The Isles of Scilly are home to breeding populations of 14 species and approximately 20,000 birds,including storm petrels and Manx shearwaters for which the UK has a global responsibility. Since1983 these populations have been in decline. The IOSSRP project has a number of aims including theprotection and restoration of seabird islands, increasing the number of people actively involved inseabird conservation, and enabling the islands to make the most of these assets by providing betteraccess and enjoyment for people, which provides the income for islanders that will help secure thefuture of these birds. One of the major threats to the seabirds is predation of eggs and chicks by rats.Work over the last 15 years on the uninhabited islands has left them rat-free but further work isrequired to maintain them as seabird-friendly. With the support of the local community,conservationists now have the same ambition for the inhabited islands of St Agnes and Gugh.

One phase of this important conservation project is the eradication of brown rats from St Agnes andGugh; this will be completed between October 2013 and April 2014.


Based in Blenheim, New Zealand, Wildlife Management International Limited (WMIL) is a family-owned ecological consultancy established in 1987 by pioneering conservationist Brian Bell. SinceBrian’s semi-retirement, the company is now operated by the brother and sister team of Mike andBiz (Elizabeth) Bell. WMIL also has a number of associates that add to the company skill andexperience base. This integrated approach gives the WMIL team a combined experience of over 100years working in protecting, managing, and monitoring natural ecosystems. WMIL specialises in theeradication of invasive alien species from islands; successfully eradicating mice, rats (Rattus rattus,R. norvegicus and R. exulans), rabbits, hares, feral cats, and goats from over 30 islands throughoutthe world which makes us one of the most experienced leaders in island eradication methodology.

WMIL works with central and regional Government conservation and research agencies, non-government conservation organisations and private sector commercial businesses and communitieswithin New Zealand and throughout the world. Many projects involve working closely with localorganisations and communities in a partnership approach, which we see as critical to achieving long-term conservation gains.

WMIL has been contracted as the eradication specialist for the Isles of Scilly Seabird RecoveryProject.


IOSSRP (and WMIL) is seeking six interns to be Rat Eradication Volunteers for the St Agnes and Gughbrown rat eradication in the Isles of Scilly, United Kingdom. The project aims to protect and enhance the seabirds on and around the islands and improve the quality of these islands for the benefit ofwildlife and people.

Interns will be required to live on St Agnes for extended periods to distribute rat bait and monitor itsuptake under the direction of the WMIL Rat Eradication Project Supervisor and two WMIL TeamLeaders. The work is expected to take five and a half months; total time commitment would bepreferred, but candidates should be willing to complete a minimum of one month. All training will beprovided.

This will be excellent experience for anyone interested in wildlife conservation, especially the fast-growing fields of restoration ecology and alien invasive species management.


Start Date:Duration:



JOB DESCRIPTIONJob Title:Reporting to:

Key Relationships:

Main duties:

29 October 2013
51⁄2 months (29 October 2013 to 14 April 2014); Option 1: Full 5 1⁄2 months Option 2: 29 October to 23rd December 2013 Option 3: 2nd January to 14 April 2014 [If only available for part of this time (minimum one month), please outlineavailability and reasoning.] This is an unpaid internship.
As an intern, you will need to pay for any personal expenses. WMIL willprovide accommodation, on-island transport, food, specialist equipment andother essentials while working on the project on St Agnes and Gugh, Isles ofScilly. Travel from Penzance to the Isles of Scilly will also be covered (up to amaximum of £100).
St Agnes and Gugh, Isles of Scilly, United Kingdom.
Expected to work daylight hours, six-days per week.

Rat Eradication Volunteer, IOSSRP
Rat Eradication Project Supervisor (Elizabeth (Biz) Bell) and Rat Eradication

Team Leaders (Dave Boyle and John Tayton)Royal Society for the Protection of BirdsIsles of Scilly Wildlife Trust Isles of Scilly Area of Outstanding BeautyNatural England

Duchy of Cornwall
IOSSRP Steering Group
Other IOSSRP employees and volunteersSt Agnes and Gugh community

The Rat Eradication Volunteers, IOSSRP, will deploy and monitor rat bait and detection tools on StAgnes and Gugh, under the direction of the Rat Eradication Project Supervisor and Team Leaders.Every volunteer will be given responsibility for a small section of the islands each day and will rotatearound the island.


• Read the Operational Plan for the eradication of brown rats (Rattus norvegicus) from St Agnesand Gugh (Bell 2011).

• Direct any questions or queries about the project or Isles of Scilly to the Rat EradicationProject Supervisor.


Receive training from the Rat Eradication Project Supervisor and/or Team Leaders on methodsin accordance with the Operational Plan.

Construct bait station and monitoring equipment, as directed.

Establish bait station grid on St Agnes and Gugh. Deploy and monitor bait, and replenish the bait as necessary.

Record bait uptake in field notebooks and enter these data into the electronic project database (on project laptop computer).

Observe wildlife behaviour around bait stations and be alert for any signs of birds or other non-target animals interfering with bait.

Ensure any problems or concerns are promptly reported to the Rat Eradication Project

Supervisor and/or Team Leaders.

Monitor bait uptake and verify, as far as reasonable, that the rat population has been destroyed.

Communicate all aspects of the project with St Agnes and Gugh community and visitors.

If required, conduct additional studies of native wildlife on St Agnes and Gugh.

At the end of the rat eradication, collect bait stations, unused bait, flagging tape, etc. Ensuring

all field equipment is cleaned and stored correctly.

Assist in installing permanent bait stations to prevent rats from reinvading St Agnes and Gugh.

Perform any other duties as directed by the Rat Eradication Project Supervisor and/or Team


We expect you to carry out your job responsibilities in an environmentally aware manner, ensuringas little damage to the environment or disturbance to the community as possible. Our aim is toensure all resources are utilised effectively and efficiently.


Essential skills and qualities
Excellent written and oral communication skills
Excellent observations skills
Attention to detail and legible handwriting
Good organisational skills, efficient and focused
Computer skills and capable at data entry
Good interpersonal skills
Ability to work on own initiative and be an effective team player
Reasonable level of physical fitness (must be able to walk 6-10 km per day)
High interest and commitment to nature conservation
Ability to live and work in a group (sharing cleaning and cooking duties)

Desirable skills and qualities

Previous experience in invasive species control or eradications
Previous experience of living or working on Isles of Scilly
Previous experience of working with small island communities
Skilled in field craft, including navigation (use of GPS)
Good project management and problem-solving skills
Training in first aid

IOSSRP: Terms of Reference for Brown Rat Eradication Volunteer

Experience in small boats
Willingness and ability to cook
Hand-held radio experience
GIS expertise
Experience in working with people from a wide range of backgrounds and cultures
Excellent interpersonal and influencing skills, for both internal and external stakeholders
Media and communications experience
Interest and experience in surveying birds and other wildlife
Degree (or equivalent) in relevant field


WMIL is an equal opportunities employer and we are committed to ensuring all applications aretreated fairly.

Applications, consisting of a covering letter explaining why you feel you should be considered for thispost, a full CV and contact details for two referees should be submitted electronically to Elizabeth(Biz) Bell, Wildlife Management International Limited at [email protected]

Please mark your application ‘Rat Eradication Volunteer, IOSSRP’ and indicate in your covering letterwhere you saw this position advertised.

The closing date for applications is 16th August 2013. All applications are subject to our short-listingprocess where we only assess information provided against the specifications. If you are shortlisted,we will contact you for an interview (you will also be advised at this point if there will be any skillstest or other requirements). Interviews are likely to be held before 6th September 2013.

We will endeavour to reply to all applicants. If you do not hear from us within four weeks of theclosing date, however, please assume that you have not been successful on this occasion. However,if you are able to supply us with an e-mail address, we will endeavour to advise you if you have notbeen shortlisted.


WMIL incorporates a diversity of traditions and cultures which represents different backgrounds,influences, perspectives and experiences. A better understanding of people’s differences will help usto appreciate and value everyone’s contribution, and recognise that we are all an integral andinvaluable part of the company. Everyone has the right to be treated with consideration and respect.

WMIL is committed to achieving a truly inclusive environment for all, by developing better workingrelationships utilising the full potential, creativity and productivity of each individual, and anatmosphere where everyone can learn, work and live free from prejudice, discrimination,harassment and violence.

WMIL aims to ensure that all staff, volunteers, partners, clients, contractors and the public aretreated fairly regardless of sex, sexual orientation, gender re-assignment, marital or civil partnershipstatus, race (including colour, nationality, ethnicity, or national origin), disability, medical status, age,religion or belief, political opinion, social or economic status, or ex-offender status.

Jon Turner

Well-known member
Wow that's good news (unless you're a rat of course) all those beach-stone walls were a haven for rats around the campsite back in the seventies, and probably still are. This is the same team that dealt with this problem on Lundy.

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