Wildlife Ecologist - North East


Australian Wildlife Conservancy


Cairns, Queensland

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 Kati Thanda-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 a nationally-coherent program of ecological surveys with a focus on monitoring key conservation assets and threats, conducting applied research relevant to wildlife conservation, implementing conservation programs including reintroductions, and providing advice to management.
  • Fundraising - mobilising finance (primarily, tax deductible donations) from the general public and philanthropists including through effective communication of AWC conservation programs.

In north-east Australia, AWC manages seven wildlife sanctuaries in Queensland and the Northern Territory:

  • Bowra, in south-west Qld.
  • Curramore, in south-east Qld.
  • Mount Zero-Taravale, in north-east Qld.
  • Brooklyn, in north-east Qld.
  • Piccaninny Plains, on Cape York Peninsula.
  • Pungalina-Seven Emu, in the Gulf of Carpentaria, NT, and
  • Wongalara, in the top end of the NT.

In addition, AWC implements conservation management on Bullo River Station, NT, under agreement with the pastoral lessee, and currently implements a conservation science program in Wet Tropics national parks, Qld.

Key duties:

Reporting to the Regional Ecologist - North-east, the Wildlife Ecologist will be part of a team of ecologists responsible for implementing AWC's science program in Queensland and the savannas of the Northern Territory. Key duties of the position include:

  • Designing and conducting inventory and monitoring surveys.
  • Undertaking, or collaborating in, research addressing major knowledge gaps in conservation, taking advantage of the opportunities presented by AWC's scale and our integration of science and land management.
  • Managing a small team of AWC ecologists, interns and volunteers in the field to implement AWC's science program.
  • Working with AWC land managers to deliver effective conservation. As part of AWC's approach to conservation, the science team helps design, implement (as required) and report on strategies for the effective management of fire, feral animals, weeds and other threats.
  • Working with Traditional Owners and Ranger Groups as required to scope, plan and implement surveys.
  • Communicating AWC's science program to our partners, Traditional Owners, the scientific community and to the public through publications, reports, presentations, participation in workshops, etc.
  • Assisting with AWC's communication and fundraising activities.

The successful candidate will have:

  • A PhD in ecology and relevant experience.
  • Ideally, a track record in conservation ecology and, ideally, quantitative skills.
  • Leadership, team-building and communication skills.
  • The capacity to work with a wide range of stakeholders including other scientists, land managers, Indigenous groups, neighbours, government agencies and volunteers.
  • An ability to get jobs done on time and within budget, and
  • Capacity to work in remote areas.

The successful candidate will be based at AWC's Cairns office, north Queensland The role requires frequent travel to AWC properties, with extended periods in the field and a balance of office work.

AWC is a leading employer of conservation ecologists. Our mission is the effective conservation of Australia's wildlife and their habitats. In our work, we are guided by a suite of values including being accountable, informed, respectful, dedicated, innovative and sustainable.


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