Friday 19 June 2015

Field Volunteers Required in China – 2015.

Field Volunteers Required – 2015 Conservation Leadership Programme: Stopover Ecology of Spoon-billed Sandpipers and Nordmann’s Greenshanks at the Yellow Sea

Work type: Volunteer

Location: South Jiangsu coast, China

Time Required: August - October 2015

Project Description:

The Spoon-billed Sandpiper Calidris pygmaea (‘Critically Endangered’) and Nordmann’s Greenshank Tringa guttifer (‘Endangered’) are two of the most threatened migratory shorebird species in the world. They congregate in south Jiangsu coast in significant numbers during southward migration stopover. Habitat loss and hunting along their migration routes are two of the possible causes of their rapid decline. This project aims to improve the understanding of the stopover ecology, especially the feeding ecology, of these two species on the south Jiangsu coast during southward migration by conducting regular weekly counts, focal bird observations and macrobenthic sampling. Such information will allow researchers and managers to distribute their management effort more effectively when conserving and monitoring these threatened species. These findings will also have implications that go beyond our study area because the basic ecology of these species remains poorly known and they rely on similar coastal intertidal wetland habitat throughout their non-breeding season.

Information about the Conservation Leadership Programme can be found in the following link:
How can you help?

This project is currently searching for motivated, enthusiastic volunteers to assist the field work throughout the boreal autumn! Tasks include bird counts during high tide, macrobenthic sampling and focal bird observation during low tide. The work involves extensive amount of time working and walking on the intertidal mudflat and getting muddy during benthic sampling. Basic local field expenses will be covered for successful candidates but he/she needs to make his/her own way to Shanghai. Successful candidates will have the potential to develop his/her own side-project if that fits into the field schedule. There will also be opportunities to extend the stay for another month or two in Shanghai to assist with laboratory work (transcribe behaviour observation data, sort and process benthic samples), analysis and write-up.

What you may gain from this opportunity:
● Add two fabulous shorebird species as well as other East Asia endemic species into your birding list
● Bird counting skills
● Macrobenthic sampling skills
● Bird behaviour observation skills
● Authentic Chinese food.
Selection Criteria:
● An adequate physical fitness is required
● A minimum stay of 4 weeks in the field
● Volunteers shall be hardworking, detail-minded and shall have a strong sense of responsibility
● Ability to work independently and as part of a diverse team with different
● Bird identification skill is preferred
● Experience in working on intertidal flat is desirable
● Basic understanding in Chinese is not compulsory but would be a bonus

Advertised Close Date:31-6-2015

We will start reviewing the applications from the middle of June until the position is filled. To apply, please send us a letter of application outlining qualifications and experience for the position, curriculum vitae, and the names and contact details for two references.
If you have any questions about this volunteering position, please contact

Nordmann's Greenshank Tringa guttifer

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