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Research Assistant for white-naped mangabey at the Semi-free Forested Enclosure, Kumasi, Ghana

Hiring Organization:
West African Primate Conservation Action (WAPCA)

Date Posted:
2019-11-14

Position Description:
WAPCA is a non-governmental organization working in Ghana and Cote d'Ivoire to safeguard the endangered primates of West Africa. The organization focuses its actions on three main fields: in-situ community empowerment, research and education, and ex-situ captive breeding. In collaboration with the Wildlife Division of the Forestry Commission, WAPCA manages the Endangered Primate Breeding Centre located in Accra Zoo and the newly built Forested Enclosure in Kumasi Zoo. The breeding groups, in which our monkeys are held, play a vital role in the global captive population by participating in the European Association of Zoos & Aquaria Ex-situ Programme. Individuals are exchanged between Ghana and Europe in order to maintain a high genetic diversity, crucial for a sustainable captive population.
In 2018 a group of white-naped mangabeys was relocated to the Forested Enclosure in Kumasi, which provides them with a semi-free area of 0.4ha to showcase natural behaviors. Reintroducing mammals into their former habitat is a great strategy to support the existing wild populations, but must be carefully planned. The Forested Enclosure is an initial step towards the reintroduction process of this species, allowing us to monitor the mangabeys? habituation process from a captive environment into a more natural one.
The white-naped mangabey is a medium to a large-sized semi-terrestrial monkey, formerly ranging from West of the Sassandra River in Western Cote d'Ivoire to the Volta River in East Ghana. It was also present in Southern Burkina Faso, however, now it is restricted to a small number of locations across its former range. White-naped mangabeys live in large multi-male, multi-female groups and have a variety of calls. Their diet is mainly made up of fruit, seeds, and insects. White-naped mangabeys are listed by IUCN as Endangered (A2cd) and have been in decline for 40 years due to habitat fragmentation and poaching.

The Research Assistant based at Forested Enclosure in Kumasi Zoo, Ghana, will collect behavioral and welfare data of a group of ten white-naped mangabeys (Cercocebus lunulatus) housed in a semi-free enclosure of 0.4 ha. The aim of the research is to monitor the habituation process of the group from a captive environment to a more natural one, which will give us baseline data for future reintroduction into the wild. Therefore, surveys of the landscape, diet, use of space and social dynamics are needed. The facility is located within the boundaries of Kumasi Zoo and the candidate will work, hand in hand, with the Ghanaian zoo staff.

Qualifications/Experience:
Potential applicants should have an interest in animal behavior, behavioral ecology or anthropology. It is desired that the candidate is physically fit, self-motivated and able to work with minimum supervision, and tolerant to different cultures and beliefs. Furthermore, candidates should be fluent in spoken and written English.

Support provided for internship/volunteer positions (travel, meals, lodging):
Accommodation will be provided to the candidate as well as a small stipend to cover transport to the site and local meals. WAPCA is not able to provide financial support on overseas travel costs (flight tickets, Visa).

Term of Appointment:
Throughout the year 2020, period of placement negotiable, min one month.

Comments:
Kindly, send a cover letter and a two page CV, including your availability, to nuria.badiella@wapca.org

Contact Information:
Núria Badiella
Achimota Forest Road
Accra, none 00233
Ghana

Telephone Number:
+233 (0) 263947433

Website:
http://www.wapca.org

E-mail Address:
nuria.badiella@wapca.org

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