RSPB NI – Volunteer Coordinator: Species Monitoring of Breeding Waders (Lower Bann Valley)


Why We Need You

This is an exciting new opportunity to work with our Conservation Officer to develop a team of volunteers to help protect four priority wader species in the Lower Bann Valley – Snipe, Lapwing, Redshank and Curlew. This is your chance to work on the most extensive wet grassland in NI and one of the most important wetlands in Ireland for breeding waders – Lough Beg. The wetlands surrounding Lough Beg was once home to an astounding number of breeding waders, however unfortunately it followed the same country-wide trend of loss of suitable habitat and priority species due to intensification of agricultural practices. However, due to landowner advisory work, agri-environment schemes, and habitat management, we have seen an improvement of habitat in recent years and the birds are returning. With your help, we hope to continue our annual monitoring of the breeding waders at Lough Beg and expand this further into the Lower Bann Valley where will launch a breeding wader monitoring programme on new sites.

What You Will Be Doing

The work is variable depending on the time of year and project needs but the role can be flexible to fit around you and your commitments. We are initially looking for someone to help to support the Conservation Officer with volunteer recruitment and management during the busy nesting season (March to August) but there are opportunities to extend this role.

Main tasks will likely include:

• Join a wider network of volunteer coordinators across Northern Ireland to assist in species recovery

• Help manage and develop the team of volunteers already working on surveying the species

• recruitment, general enquiries and induction of new volunteers

• Creating and managing a rota for breeding bird surveys

• Collecting in monitoring forms from volunteers

• Liaising with landowners to allow access for surveys

• Supporting the Conservation Officer with volunteer updates, news, and reminders

• Liaising with the Conservation Officer to relay any issues or concerns flagged by volunteers in a timely way

• Organising fun volunteer socials and development opportunities to bring the team together through the season

• To assist on breeding bird surveys if desired.

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