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Position: Field Biologist Volunteer - Scarlet Macaw Release Program
Organization: Macaw Breeding Center / Macaw Recovery Network 

Duration: 6 months: March/April to September/October (release date dependent)
Location: Punta Islita, Costa Rica
Housing: on-site accom. at no cost (see below)


The role of the Field Biologist (FB) is to monitor the newly released Scarlet Macaws in Punta Islita. A small group of Scarlet Macaws will be released in June from the project’s Punta Islita site. The role will be focused on intensive pre- and post-release monitoring of this group, their ranging and integration with the established population. The FB will receive training and will have the support of other in project specialists where necessary, however much of the role is independent and self-directed. The successful applicant will be encouraged to be involved in other projects that help the conservation center.

Field Biologists’ duties:

  • Prior to the release, the applicant will support care for the Scarlet Macaws and preparations of their life in the wild.
  • With the relevant training the applicant will support pre-release observations and data collection of the to be released Scarlet Macaw group.
  • With the relevant training the applicant will monitor the newly released Scarlet Macaw group.
  • Responsible for reporting on the condition of the birds, their behaviour, numbers and their flight range.
  • To help prepare the artificial nest-boxes that are installed in the area surrounding the project for the next breeding season.
  • Finding and carrying out roost counts to establish minimum population numbers
  • Different general maintenance or site/project development tasks may be assigned depending on our current needs and the skills and abilities of particular interns.


The successful applicant:

  • Will demonstrate a commitment to conservation and/or wants to pursue a career in conservation;
  • Has an independent work attitude and is a self-starter;
  • Has animal handling and/or fieldwork experience
  • Is comfortable being away from family and friends for long periods of time;
  • Enjoys being outside and is not put out by extreme weather and temperatures
  • Is an experienced and confident in their self-reliance skills

Hours of work:

The Field Biologist is expected to work 5 days a week, following a flexible time schedule which is guided by the behaviour of the wild birds, but approximately from 4am until 6pm with a long mid-day break.

Duration of position:

The minimum and total duration is six months.

Essential qualifications:

  • An educational background in a relevant field; Biological sciences, Ecology, Animal behavior or Conservation Management;
  • Full, manual transmission drivers’ license and CBT or equivalent motorbike license.
  • Proof of vaccination C-19

Desirable personal Qualities

  • Dependable and responsible
  • Motivated and positive with a desire to contribute
  • Interested in bird and nature conservation
  • Flexible, friendly, patient and optimistic
  • A sense of humor is helpful


  • Great experience both in terms of travel and supporting a non-profit organisation
  • The experience and satisfaction of working with endangered species
  • Increased understanding and appreciation of different values and lifestyles
  • Increased skills in creative problem-solving and time management
  • Opportunities to work with avian and conservation specialists
  • Learn and improve skills such as tree climbing, bird ringing, map reading and using GIS software
  • A recognition Certificate is provided if season is completed successfully

Anticipated costs:

All international and national travel costs to get to the site are your responsibility. Volunteers buy and prepare all their own food and we recommend you budget for at least $40 per week, or more if you like luxuries. On-site accommodation and utilities are provided at no cost.

Comprehensive insurance cover for the entire stay is a must, and it should be arranged and paid for by the applicant. If staying for more than 90 days, doing a visa renewal trip is also the applicant's own responsibility.

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Note: This posting is provided on an "As Is" basis and for general informational purposes only. People and Planet (also known as "GoodWork") is not responsible for the content, accuracy, timeliness, completeness, legality, reliability, quality or suitability of this posting. We do not screen or endorse the organizations or individuals involved. If you decide to accept an offer of employment, volunteering or any other arrangement, you do so at your own risk and it is your responsibility to take all protective measures to guard against injury, abuse, non-payment or any other loss. Please read our full Terms & Conditions.

Current status: Open/apply now.   Date posted: Mar 15 2022    ID: 63418