Ecologists & Graduate Ecologists


Ecotone Flora Fauna Consultants


Weipa, Cape York, Queensland

Salary etc:

Contracted Full-Time positions 2021


We are seeking highly motivated and capable ecologists or graduate ecologists to join our field team in Weipa, Cape York Peninsula to undertake field surveys in the area. The position would begin with a FIFO probationary period of three months for the candidate and business to decide if a permanent relocation to the Weipa lifestyle is desirable.

The roles and tasks are largely fauna-focussed and centred around our region of Cape York, so the candidates should have a keen interest in quickly learning the species of our region. A tertiary qualification in Ecology or similar is the desirable requisite for these positions. Previous consulting experience is not essential but would be advantageous for the Ecologist positions.

Applicants should be available to commence the position no later than February 2021.

The successful applicant/s should have an established high level of fitness and endurance to be able to hit the ground running, and the ability to work in the difficult conditions presented by this area including high temperatures and humidity and rough terrain and vegetation. This is not a position for the faint hearted or office oriented person but will be highly rewarding for a suitably fit, robust and motivated ecologist who has a true passion for field ecology in a remote part of Australia. The successful applicant will possess the ability and commitment to work within the Ecotone and clients’ safety systems, and also have demonstrated experience and abilities to operate 4WD vehicles and work safely within remote bush landscapes, including from bush camps if necessary. 

The role is a contracted full-time position through to the end of 2021 with potential for a subsequent permanent appointment subject to performance and demonstrated skills during the initial appointment.

The Role

The role comprises on-going field work throughout the year, interspersed with office time to manage and analyse data, compile and submit reports.  Field work will be predominantly pre-clearing surveys comprising tasks including camera surveys for mammals (northern quoll, black-footed tree-rat, chestnut dunnart) and systematic searches for breeding habitat of threatened birds (red goshawk, palm cockatoo, masked owl); but the role will also provide assistance to threatened species monitoring and/or research projects, baseline survey work and other projects as necessary. You will be involved in both Weipa based and occasionally more remote field work for Ecotone Projects. 

You will be working as part of a small team based in Weipa that has an excellent work ethic and safety record and is focussed on safely delivering high quality Project outcomes for our clients. 

Duties include:

Field-based work – Conduct field surveys of flora and fauna using a variety of techniques and methods.  Field work will be mostly Weipa-based but may include remote work and trips based out of bush-camps.  Field work includes:

  • Prepare vehicles for field work and conduct weed washdowns.
  • Compiling field equipment prior to surveys and checking all required gear is included.
  • Re-charging and maintaining electronic equipment and batteries
  • Demobilise vehicle and equipment and sign equipment back into office
  • Undertake navigational tasks and in field data entry to toughpads
  • Perform safely and follow all safety procedures
  • Produce and send out Comms Plans for all field work events
  • Ensure that all safety documents are on hand for the work and all safety requirements have been completed. Ie. vehicle checks
  • Professionally and proficiently conduct the actual field work program
  • Liaise professionally with clients on site and in the field where necessary

Work within and contribute to safety systems – This requires a willingness to work within Ecotone and client safety systems to ensure safe work practices.  You will be required to contribute to the development of Job Safety Analysis documents for work tasks and Communication plans for remote field work.  Participation in safety meetings is a necessity.

Data Review, Analysis & Management – Usually this is a matter of following a set procedure.  In your role you will be required to uphold the procedures used in the business, seek out the procedures you need for your work or ask for assistance when required, and at time assist with developing new or improved methods and procedures for data management.  The integrity of our data is paramount to the quality of our work and always needs to be maintained. 

Review of survey/monitoring camera images – For some projects such as palm cockatoo hollow monitoring this task can be very monotonous, but the data we obtain from it is world-first and industry-leading in protecting a very vulnerable and iconic species.  For other reviews such as images from quoll camera surveys, the opportunity to get paid to look for wildlife on cameras is something many of the higher-level staff wish they could still do.  Regardless of what review work you are doing, you are expected to be diligent in your review, and in your data entry, as mistakes are time-consuming and costly to rectify, if they can ever be identified at all. 

Performing Project Manager or Team-Leader duties – depending on the role of appointment, management responsibilities may include leading field work, monitoring and managing Project resourcing and time allocations to different tasks; scheduling work, liaising with clients; providing updates on Project progress to senior managers; and tasking junior staff with aspects of the project to distribute workloads.

Preparing Project reports and other communication to clients - you will be required in this role to write reports and present the data from field work projects to the client/s in a concise and accessible manner.  These will include written reports, memos, emails and verbal reports on works.  You may also be required to conduct literature reviews or research on various topics.  Depending on your report writing-experience, your reports will be peer-reviewed and you will receive feedback so that you can develop your reporting and writing skills. 

Permitting tasks – occasionally you may be asked to assist in preparation of permit applications and with reporting and data compilation for permitting returns.

Support – you will need to work closely with the Business Managers and other Graduate Ecologists,  Ecologists, Senior Ecologists and Project Managers to conduct your projects and align them with other work running concurrently within the business.  You will receive support in your role from the Managers, but also your team-mates. 

Managing a discrete area of the business such as permits, or equipment – you may be asked to take responsibility and management for a particular area of the Ecotone business. 

Areas of Specialisation – it is good to be able to recognise an employee’s particular interests, talents and experience, so that both the employee and the employer can get the most out of the engagement.  Whenever possible, your interests and special skills will be recognised to place you in roles that engage you and keep you keen in your position. 

General application of oneself to work – in general, a willingness to learn, a good work ethic, team-focus and a strong initiative to identify the tasks and get the tasks done are what is desired most from this role.  In return the business hopes to provide professional growth opportunities and job satisfaction.

The Successful Applicant

In order to successfully carry out this role you must have a passion for field ecology and be motivated to undertake field work in challenging tropical conditions.  You must have a high level of physical fitness and mental resilience to enable you to safely carry out extended survey programs typically requiring walking long distances each day in difficult conditions.

Highly Desirable qualities and qualifications:  

  • Tertiary qualification in Ecology, Zoology, Wildlife Science or similar
  • Familiarity with Australian fauna species derived from hands on field survey work
  • Australian Drivers Licence
  • Commitment to working within the Ecotone safety systems and client safety systems
  • Commitment to observe and implement survey permit and animal ethics approval conditions and provisions to achieve excellent animal welfare outcomes
  • High level of physical fitness and endurance to enable you to safely undertake long days of walking at a productive pace
  • Experience in being out bush, including demonstrated competency (not just a 4WD certificate) in operating 4WD vehicles off-road, navigating in bush environments and being able to trouble-shoot minor mechanical or technical faults with vehicles and equipment
  • Advanced knowledge of bird identification from both observations and call identification and the ability to reliably (as possible) identify raptor species in flight
  • Broad knowledge of native terrestrial vertebrate fauna genera (frogs, reptiles, birds, mammals) and experience in ethically handling and identifying fauna
  • Ability to work in a co-operative team environment working toward common goals
  • Ability to prepare concise, factual and relevant written and verbal reports to a high standard
  • Ability to communicate effectively with fellow team members and client representatives
  • Familiarity with Microsoft Office, particularly compilation of large MS Word documents with imagery and maps

Desirable or bonus qualities and qualifications:

  • GIS capabilities, especially MapInfo or ARC GIS
  • Familiarity with digital data capture using GPS enabled handheld devices and data entry apps
  • Familiarity with the fauna of Cape York Peninsula
  • Experience working with Traditional Owners
  • Ecologist or other experience in the mining industry
  • Familiarity with camera and acoustic survey techniques
  • Familiarity with analysis of acoustic data sets using call recognition software
  • Hold current Senior (Apply) First Aid and Advanced 4WD competencies
  • Familiarity with Dropbox or other cloud storage utilities
  • Experience with using satellite phones and personal satellite trackers and EPIRBs

Remuneration and Conditions:

The positions will be appointed under the Professional Employees Award 2010.  Remuneration packages include a General Allowance Payment, dispensed fortnightly in pays to offset remote living expenses.  Employer Compulsory Superannuation payments (currently 9.5%), leave (4 weeks) and leave loading entitlements are standard in the pay package.  A Time Off In Lieu system is in place for additional overtime.

The employer operates a skewed seasonal roster to account for the seasonality of the workload.  A standard working week for both office and field-based work comprises between 38 and 45 hours a week depending on the time of year. 

How to apply:

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Date published:


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