Conservation Ecologist


People For Wildlife


Bamaga (possibly Cairns-based FIFO - negotiable), Queensland

Salary etc:

$80,000 - $110,000 p.a. (incl. super) depending on experience.

About People For Wildlife

People For Wildlife is a small conservation charity working with local people and landscapes in Australia and abroad.  People For Wildlife undertakes scientific research, conservation land management, and develops nature-based economic opportunities with project partners to help protect nature and improve the lives of people.

Why work with us?

Do you want to make a difference in conservation? Do you want to work (and potentially live) in a stunning and iconic part of Australia? 

We are a dedicated team, passionate about what we do, but we need help to bring our big dreams to reality. People For Wildlife is looking for an experienced Conservation Ecologist passionate about the environment, protecting biodiversity, and creating nature-based economic opportunities for Indigenous People and Local Communities.

You will have the opportunity to work with internationally recognised experts and to learn a diverse range of skills that few other employers can provide.

About the role?

As People For Wildlife’s Conservation Ecologist, you will work closely with the team and with Traditional Owners to undertake research and conservation management work on almost 1 million acres of land in the iconic Cape York Peninsula.

As part of this role, you will be involved in scientific research and monitoring programs for various plant and animal species, including crocodiles, snakes, cockatoos, turtles, pigs, and many others.

You will be involved in conservation and land management activities such as fire management, rainforest rehabilitation, feral animal and weed control, and the recording of all activities into specially designed Apps.

You will assist in trainings, workshops, and organising groups of people to undertake conservation work.

You will capture photographs and video of this work and collaborate with People For Wildlife’s communications team to tell our story.

Behind the desk you will be involved in data analysis, report writing, GIS mapping, and grant and peer-reviewed paper writing. You will also assist the team to prepare grant applications and will have a strong background in science writing.

All of the above with be undertaking in close collaboration with Traditional Owners – in particular, to help create sustainable nature-based business opportunities for local landowners. 

About you

You are someone who is passionate about the natural environment. You love being outdoors undertaking cutting edge-research, but are equally comfortable analysing data and writing reports behind a computer.

You are a field ecologist, but also an all-rounder who is not afraid to get their hands dirty, learn new skills, and impart those skills to others.   

You preferably have a postgraduate degree in science, or a proven track record of working in this field. If you are a recent graduate with limited experience, but with a can-do attitude and ability to learn quickly, you may also be a good fit for this role.

You will need a C class driver's license and have the right to work in Australia. 


  • Champion and assist with the implementation of People For Wildlife’s conservation land management program in northern Cape York.
  • Help to develop the long term ‘big picture’ conservation vision for PFW in northern Cape York.
  • Coordinate land management work with relevant Traditional Owners
  • Assist with the management of Queensland’s only sustainable crocodile egg harvesting program.
  • Assist with holding training in conservation land management techniques.
  • Assist in the establishment of supply chains for nature-based raw materials from northern Cape York.
  • Research novel ways to improve conservation land management, either directly or through literature reviews.
  • Liaise with and help coordinate external stakeholders and collaborators, such as partner laboratories, external experts, consultants, universities, etc.
  • Gather and provide communications collateral (photos, videos, vulgarized text) to People For Wildlife communications teams
  • Assist with the writing of funding applications for conservation management work in northern Cape York
  • Write internal and external facing general and technical reports on the conservation work taking place and the results of PFW’s work in northern Cape York.
  • Create project-specific risk assessments
  • Maintain a safe and effective working field camp
  • Carry-out basic maintenance and servicing of People For Wildlife vehicles and equipment 


Essential skills

  • Tertiary qualification (or relevant experience) in ecology, zoology, or another natural science.
  • At least 5 years' experience in ecological research, conservation science, and/or landscape and natural resource management
  • Ability to think critically, design and implement monitoring programs, and collect and analyse field data.
  • Proven bushcraft skills, and ability to safely and effectively undertake fieldwork in remote areas.
  • Experience and/or willingness to work closely with local people and project partners

Highly desirable

  • Ability to write articles for publication in peer-reviewed scientific journals
  • Popular and/or media communications experience
  • Extensive 4x4 experience
  • Knowledge of the flora and fauna or Cape York Peninsula

Suitability and flexibility

This role offers the unique opportunity for the right candidate to live and work in Bamaga, at the tip of the Australia continent. The successful candidate would be provided modest accommodation as part of their remuneration package. Opportunities such as this are rare.

This role could also be undertaken on a ‘fly-in,fly-out' basis from Cairns, but candidates should be aware that significant periods of time would be spent in the field in northern Cape York.

If candidates decided to live and work full-time from Bamaga and have a skilled partner working in a similar field, then People For Wildlife may consider hiring both of you to undertake work in the area. Please apply to discuss.

The unique nature of this position means that there is flexibility in potential working arrangements. Potential candidates interested in this role are strongly encouraged to apply in order to discuss an arrangement that works for all.


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