Wildlife Ecologist (Pilliga)


Australian Wildlife Conservancy


Narrabri, NSW

Australian  Wildlife  Conservancy  (AWC)  is  the  largest  private  (non-profit)  owner  of  land  for conservation  in  Australia,  protecting  endangered  wildlife at  30 sanctuaries in which  we  own  or manage in partnership, covering a total of more than 6.5 million hectares in iconic regions such as the Kimberley, Cape York, the Top End and Lake Eyre.   With a focus on practical land management, informed by world-class science, AWC is implementing a dynamic new model for conservation. 

AWC’s mission- to deliver effective conservation for all native animal species and their habitats- is achieved by: 

  • Operations-delivering effective large-scale land management including fire management, feral animal control, weed control and infrastructure management.  
  • Science-delivering the largest national biological survey program with a focus on measuring the population of indicator species and the extent of threatening processes as well as conducting research on key issues such as feral cat control.  
  • Fundraising-mobilising finance (primarily, tax deductible donations) from the general public and philanthropists including through effective communication of field updates from around the AWC estate.   

In NSW, AWC has been contracted by the NSW Government to reintroduce up to 10 species of threatened mammals into two NSW protected areas – Mallee Cliffs National Park in the south-west NSW, and part of the Pilliga forest in north-central NSW. The Pilliga project site extends over 36,000 ha of Pilliga National Park and the Pilliga State Conservation Area. AWC has constructed a conservation fence on the site to establish a 5,800 ha feral predator-free area, into which six threatened mammal species will be reintroduced. To date, two species have been successfully established on site – the Greater Bilby and Bridled Nailtail Wallaby, with other species planned for reintroduction from 2021. AWC is also responsible for delivering conservation management and an associated science program in the remainder of the project site.

Reporting to the Regional Ecologist NSW, the Wildlife Ecologist will lead our team of ecologists responsible for implementing AWC’s science program at the Pilliga project site. A PhD in ecology or similar is essential. Previous experience in conservation management, applied conservation research, reintroductions and/ or ecological monitoring will be treated favourably. Successful applicants will have a demonstrated ability to lead a team of ecologists and, as such, the position requires well-developed communication and organizational skills. This position will initially be based at Narrabri, initially, with the opportunity to move onsite to the Pilliga, once infrastructure and accommodation has been built.

Key duties of the Wildlife Ecologist are to:

  • Contribute to the development, implementation and reporting of AWC’s science program in the Pilliga. Major tasks in the science program are the measurement of ecological health, the reintroduction of locally-extinct species, and the conduct of research.
  • Lead a team of AWC ecologists working in the Pilliga project.
  • Work in an integrated way with AWC operations staff to design and implement conservation and land management strategies in the Pilliga.
  • Work effectively with key stakeholders, particularly staff from the NSW Government and the local community in relation to the Pilliga project site
  • Communicate AWC’s science program to the scientific community and to the public through publications, reports, presentations, participation in workshops, etc
  • Assist with AWC’s communication and fundraising activities.

This is a rare opportunity to join Australia’s largest non-government conservation organisation and help shape the future of private sector conservation in Australia. 

This is a permanent, full-time role based in Narrabri, NSW.  

How to apply:

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