Orange-fronted parakeets are extremely rare, and only known to live in four beech forest valleys on the mainland - the Hawdon, Andrews and Poulter valleys in Arthur’s Pass National Park, and the South Branch of the Hurunui valley in Lake Sumner Forest Park. Captive-bred parakeets have also been released onto predator-free islands, but maintaining a healthy and robust wild population is critical to the species' long-term survival.
The main purpose of this role is to locate orange-fronted parakeets, monitor their population and protect their nests from predatory rats and stoats. Volunteers may also be asked to check and maintain traps, and perform other tasks relating to the conservation of orange-fronted parakeets.
Due to the nature of the work, volunteers are expected to be available for one month.
Required skills and attributes:
- Experience identifying birds in the field
- Backcountry experience, either working or tramping in remote locations
- High level of fitness
- Able to record detailed and accurate notes
- Able to work independently and in cooperation with other field workers
- Willing to share accommodation with other field workers
- Able to spend ten consecutive days in the field each fortnight
Desirable skills and attributes:
- Experience in the use of off-road vehicles (4WDs, LUVs, ATVs)
- Climbing experience
- Radio-tracking experience
- Current first aid certificate
- Experience with radio communication
- Experience with track, vehicle or hut maintenance
- Knowledge of pest control and monitoring operations
- Current driver’s license
What to expect
This is an excellent opportunity to work alongside experienced field staff while studying one of the rarest birds in New Zealand. It’s a chance to make new contacts, develop your field skills, and spend time in some incredible places. If you are interested in supporting a good cause, and don’t mind roughing it, then we’d love to hear from you!
Successful candidates will be trained by members of the orange-fronted parakeet team, and supervised by the team leader in the field.
DOC will provide volunteers with a GPS device, personal locator beacon, VHF radio, notepad and binoculars for the duration of the field work.
Food and accommodation will be provided while working in Arthur's Pass National Park, and Lake Sumner Forest Park. Depending on the task, volunteers will either be based out of staff housing in Arthur's Pass village, or huts in the backcountry.
Volunteers are expected to report to the DOC office in Rangiora at the beginning and end of each 10-day stint in the field. Parking is available at the office, and transport to and from each site provided.
What to bring
Volunteers are responsible for providing their own personal clothing, wet weather gear, boots, daypack, water bottle, headlamp/torch, sleeping bag, sheet/liner and pillowcase.