Macaw Conservation Veterinarian

Location
Costa Rica (CR)
Salary
Volunteer position with Non Profit
Posted
May 13, 2019
Closes
Aug 13, 2019
Ref
Macaw Conservation Veterinarian
Salary Type
Unpaid

Macaw populations have declined significantly over the past decades. The main causes are illegal poaching for the pet trade and the loss of mature forest habitat, which they rely on for feeding and nesting. MRN's vision is to see a future with thriving parrot populations in healthy, connected forests, across their former ranges. MRN’s breeding center consists of over 80 rescued non-releasable macaws, that through breeding and release of their offspring, can still contribute to the conservation of their wild relatives. 

Purpose: The applicant will be supporting the off-site veterinarian with ongoing preventative and curative care of all the Macaws at our Breeding Center and of the released population. After a training period, the applicant will also be given responsibility to give daily husbandry care for a group of Macaws. Depending on the successes of the previous breeding season this includes caring for offspring and preparing them for release into the wild.

Volunteer Duties:

  • Monitoring of the health and behaviour of all birdsand doing routine check ups on birds across site with known issues, always notifying the bird manager before any steps are taken
  • Perform regular fecal screenings 
  • Gather crop samples to test for fungal issues
  • Supporting in bird catch ups to perform basic physical exams, including determining keel scores, identifying health issues and providing insight in quality of life
  • Work cooperatively with the Bird Manager and registered local veterinarian (Dra. Martha Cordero Salas). Must communicate with and receive approval from Dra. Salas on invasive procedures
  • Support during rescue missions
  • Weekly reports sent to Dra. Salas and Bird Manager
  • Is responsible for keeping the clinic clean and tidy, perform weekly inventory and report to the bird manager, make recommendations on medicines and supplies needed
  • Responsibility for caring for any sick/injured birds that are housed in the clinic, with daily updates given to the bird manager. 
  • Support in daily food preparation and feeding of captive breeding birds, pre-release birds and supplementary feeding of the released flock
  • May support in site maintenance including aviary cleaning, providing perches and enrichment for captive birds and various other husbandry tasks
  • May be asked to help at other sites of the organization when needed

Background: The applicant has to be a licensed veterinarian. Preference is given to those with Avian experience and additional incubating, brooding and hand-rearing knowledge is a big plus.

Hours: The work schedule is 5.5 days/week with flexibility to help with animal emergencies outside of normal work hours. General work hours are from 5.30am until 5pm with a three-hour break and half a day in the weekend.

Duration of Work: The minimum duration is one month with no maximum length of stay. Those staying for at least three months are given preference and receive free accommodation. 

Desirable personal Qualities:

  • Dependable and responsible
  • Patient and willing to teach basic skills and theory to staff, apprentices and volunteers (ifappropriate)
  • Motivated and positive with a desire to contribute
  • Interested in bird- and nature conservation
  • Flexible, friendly, patient and optimistic
  • Ability to speak Spanish preferred

Other Benefits:

  • Great experience both in terms of travel and supporting a non-profit
  • Increased understanding and appreciation of different values and lifestyles
  • Increased skill in creative problem-solving
  • Increased skill in team-communication 

Anticipated costs: Costs depend on the timeframe available for. All international and nation travel costs to get to the site are your responsibility. Volunteers who stay for less than three months pay $300 per month for on-site accommodation and all utilities. Those who can commit for 3 months or more are provided with free accommodation. All volunteers buy and prepare all their own food and we recommend you budget for at least $40 per week.

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