Title: Conservation and Control Officer – (Stirlingshire, Argyll & Trossachs)
Status: Full time, Fixed-Term. ASAP until 31 March 2024
Salary: £22,500 per annum
Location: National Park Headquarters, Balloch – hybrid working may be possible
Closing date: 1 July 2022
For over 50 years, the Scottish Wildlife Trust has worked with its members, partners and supporters in pursuit of healthy, resilient ecosystems across Scotland’s land and seas for the benefit of people and wildlife. The Trust successfully champions the cause of wildlife through policy and campaigning work, demonstrates best practice through practical conservation and innovative partnerships, and inspires people to take positive action through its education and engagement activities.
Saving Scotland’s Red Squirrels (SSRS) is a project to deliver the essential protection measures required to secure the long-term future of red squirrels in Scotland and to ensure that systems are put in place to continue the delivery of these measures over the long term by working with other agencies with a stake in native species conservation and invasive non-native species management. SSRS focuses upon one of our most charismatic and well-loved mammals – the red squirrel (Sciurus vulgaris). Once widespread, red squirrels have undergone a catastrophic population decline primarily due to competition from the non-native invasive, American grey squirrel (Sciurus carolinensis). There is now only c.160,000 red squirrels remaining in the UK of which 120,000 occur in Scotland – 75% of the remaining UK red squirrel population. Saving Scotland’s Red Squirrels (SSRS) was formed to reverse this decline and create the conditions for this mammal to thrive in future.
This role is to protect red squirrels in the Highland Line priority landscape across Argyll and Trossachs from replacement by grey squirrels and from Squirrelpox disease and to inspire people to value their local red squirrels and the wider natural heritage It aims to deliver grey squirrel control mainly in the Arrochar-Helensburgh–west and South Loch Lomond area and in the Callandar area, in accordance with the project strategy to maintain grey squirrel populations in the target zone at very low densities.
Main Duties include:
- Plan and lead the delivery of strategic grey squirrel control work in Argyll & Trossachs, in the Project’s priority area, to create an integrated grey squirrel control network as outlined in the SSRS project plan.
- Maintain strong partnership working with project partners and local stakeholders to deliver the priorities outlined in the SSRS project plan and the Scottish Strategy for Red Squirrel Conservation.
- Carry out grey squirrel control according to the SSRS project’s Standard Operating Procedures, prioritising the sites of grey squirrel occupation within the National Park, the dispersal route into Argyll at Arrochar and the landscapes immediately south and west of the Park, as well as Callandar and the Teith Valley to Doune, focussing on locations not yet covered by land managers or volunteers.
- Collect and maintain high-quality, accurate records on trapping effort and control data using Excel and the SSRS Hub (database).
- Support volunteers with appropriate training (e.g. hair sample identification), standardisation and verification of records.
- Encourage and support a network of land managers and communities to engage actively in red squirrel protection and monitoring work in strategic areas of Argyll & Trossachs.
The successful candidate will ideally:
- Have a degree in ecology, biology, countryside management, related discipline or proven experience in a similar environment.
- Minimum two years’ experience in a relevant field, including wildlife ecology, conservation, non-native mammal control, practical wildlife managemenStrong leadership and staff management experience.
- Have a good understanding of conservation principles, practices and legislation.
- Have experience of collecting, maintaining and reporting standardised ecological data
- Have experience of standardised surveys and understanding of scientific method.
- Have experience of working with countryside rangers, landowners, estate staff and gamekeepers or similar
- Have the ability to work alone in woodland sites safely and discreetly, including in some remote locations.
- Have a Current air-weapon license will be required if using air weapon for humane dispatch.
- Have a good knowledge of the Argyll, Trossachs and Stirling area and experience in engaging the wider public in conservation issue
- Have a good working knowledge of forestry/woodland management and of current legislation relating to mammals
To apply, please complete an application form and return to email@example.com by the closing date.
Closing date: 1 July 2022
*Interviews will be held via Teams or in person following Covid-19 guidelines
If you would like more information, please phone 0131312 4718 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
The Trust is a passionate employer, proactive about creating a culture of diversity and inclusive workplace that promotes and values equal opportunities for all. We welcome individuals from all networks of life, backgrounds, and experiences.