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Volunteer fieldwork - Lemurs of Madagascar

Hiring Organization:
L'Homme et l'Environnement NGO

Date Posted:
2018-08-29

Position Description:
The Malagasy NGO "Man and the Environment" is looking for MSc students/ volunteers for a field study on the lemur populations of the Vohimana Reserve.

The Vohimana reserve is located in the Alaotra-Mangoro region (eastern Madagascar), in the heart of the Ankeniheny-Zahamena forest corridor, one of the ecological priorities in Madagascar. The reserve comprehends 554 ha of natural montane rainforest and it is home to at least 9 lemur species.

The fieldwork will be part of a research already underway, led by researcher A. Anania in collaboration with Dr J. Salmona (Paul Sabatier University - Toulouse 3, France) and the NGO.

This project aims to:
1) investigate lemur diversity (lemur inventory)
2) estimate the population size of diurnal and nocturnal lemur species
3) evaluate habitat use and the anthropic disturbance effects on lemur densities
4) publish the results in a journal of primatology. If the quality of collected data will allow it, the contribution of the field assistant will be credited in the manuscript.

The assistant/student responsibility will entail:
1) Diurnal (3-6h / day) and/or nocturnal surveys (1-3h / day) along forest transects
2) Recording GPS coordinates, perpendicular distance, behavioral and ecological data at each observation. If possible, pictures and recordings of the calls would constitute precious data.

Qualifications/Experience:
Requirements:
1. A background in biology, zoology or a related field
2. Good working knowledge of French
3. Flexibility and adaptability to the field working conditions and schedule (diurnal and/or nocturnal surveys in a rainforest)
4. Physical and psychological resistance
5. Respect for the local culture

The ideal candidate has:
1. Experience living in Africa or other tropical countries
2. The ability to work as a team with the local field guides
3. Motivated, responsible and organized
4. Problem-solving skills
5. Prior fieldwork experience in primate behavioral ecology
6. Motivation to learn the basics of Malagasy language

Salary/funding:
This is a voluntary position, so neither salary nor funding is provided.
In case the volunteer wants to submit an application for a grant, we are available to provide the required information and support.

Support provided for internship/volunteer positions (travel, meals, lodging):
The field assistant/student is responsible for covering personal costs and obtaining medical insurance and any necessary vaccinations.
Fixed costs include:
? 190 euros / month: accommodation in the forest and in the capital city, transport to and from the forest, local guides
? 100 euros / month: 3 meals / day (cook)
? 650-1100 euros (depending on the company): flight to and from Antananarivo
? Visa fees according to the duration
A detailed budget may be sent upon request by e-mail. The basic scientific equipment (GPS device, laser distance meter) will be provided by A. Anania.

Term of Appointment:
Minimum 3 months beginning in early October or early January

Application Deadline:
December 1st (rolling)

Comments:
In the forest, the field accommodation consists of an 8-bed or 3-bed mixed dormitory, flush toilets, running water, and showers. The site has no electricity, refrigerator, and hot water. However, a generator set and a solar panel may be used and where their use is reasonable, associated costs may be covered by the NGO. It is possible to get internet on site through the local cell phone networks.

We are looking for volunteers who are able to commit for a minimum of 3 months. The start date of the fieldwork may be flexible and discussed with the project leader. If the fieldwork will start in early October or early January, the volunteer will be trained by another participant of the project for one week on diurnal and nocturnal line-transect distance sampling, recognition of lemur species, as well as the use of scientific equipment and field records.
Field guides speak French and work with students and researchers since 2003.

To apply, please submit a CV and short cover letter to:
- Alessio Anania, project leader: alessio.anania87[at]gmail.com
- Sophie Rakotomalala (Man and the Environment NGO), organization and logistics manager: vsc[at]mate.mg; sophiem52[at]gmail.com

Contact Information:
L'Homme et l'Environnement NGO
Lot II M90 Antsakaviro, Antananarivo 101
Antananarivo
Madagascar

Website:
https://www.vohimana.com ; https://m.facebook.com/vohimana/?locale2=fr_FR

E-mail Address:
alessio.anania87@gmail.com

Questions and Comments

Questions about a specific job listing should be directed to the contact person listed for that job. Questions and comments about using the Primate-Jobs web site can be directed to Joe Kemnitz at kemnitz@primate.wisc.edu.