RSPB • Lower Lough Erne Islands

Curlew Monitoring Officer - (Fixed term)

Employment type:  Contract
Salary:  £21622 - £23987 per annum

3–4 days/week at home

Fully flexible hours

Dog friendly

Apply now

Job Description

RSPB Northern Ireland are looking for an enthusiastic individual with experience in monitoring breeding waders to fill a seasonal post on our Lower Lough erne Reserve, 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 across 12 islands on Lower Lough Erne. This will include mapping the distribution, abundance and behaviour of breeding curlews and other bird species, habitat surveys and data entry.

You will also be working along-side the Estate Manager and Reserve team to help provide more hands-on conservation work such as nest finding, biometric data collection and productivity monitoring.

Key activities will include

  • Conducting breeding wader surveys following O'Brien & Smith methodology
  • Conducting vegetation surveys, habitat mapping and assessments.
  • Monitoring islands from a boat
  • Data entry and upkeep

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 or ability to access remote locations

Experience operating boats and navigating open water- preferable

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.

This is a 4 month fixed term Contract, Full Time role for 37.5 hours per week. Ideally working 3rd April – 28th July 2023.

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.

We are looking to conduct interviews for this position on 20th February 2023. For further information please contact amy.burns@rspb.org.uk

As part of this application process you will be asked to complete an application form including evidence on how you meet the skills, knowledge, and experience listed above.

If you wish to provide a cover letter with your application, please include this at the end of your CV document upload.

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

Before applying for this role, we recommend reading through the candidate guidance notes attached to the top of this advert.

Company benefits

Open to part-time employees
Open to compressed hours
Enhanced maternity leave
Enhanced paternity leave
Adoption leave
Shared parental leave
24 days annual leave + bank holidays
Enhanced sick pay

The FlexScore® is the result of a rigorous 2-step verification of a company’s flexibility

First we assess the flexibility options RSPB provides and then we anonymously survey a statistically significant proportion of their employees to make sure RSPB is as flexible as they say they are. Our assessment is based on the six key elements of flexibility: location, hours, autonomy, benefits, role modelling and work-life balance.

We ask the hard questions so you don’t have to.

Working at RSPB

Company employees


Gender diversity (male:female)


Office locations

Across all 4 UK Countries

Hiring Countries

United Kingdom
What employees are saying

I feel the RSPB is very flexible and this is reflected through the Line Management chain - I know I have the flexibility on a daily basis to start early / finish late, if something crops up at home - I am very satisfied :)

RSPB Employee

More roles at RSPB
Awards & Achievements
Most flexible Charity & Tech For Good companies – 2nd

Most flexible Charity & Tech For Good companies – 2nd

Industry awards 2022