** UPDATED **
Please Note: An extension has been granted for expressions of interest for the Mouse Free Marion Project Manager. The new deadline is 30 September 2020. All submissions already received will still be considered for this contract position.
A Grey-headed Albatross chick ‘scalped’ by mice on Marion Island, photograph courtesy of the FitzPatrick Institute
South Africa’s sub-Antarctic Marion Island is overrun by introduced House Mice Mus musculus, which in the last decade have taken to attacking and killing the island’s albatrosses and petrels, notably chicks of the globally threatened Grey-headed Thalassarche chrysostoma and Wandering Diomedea exulans Albatrosses (click here for previous ACAP Latest News posts on Marion’s mice).
To address the problem a call has now been made for Expressions of Interest for “a highly qualified, dedicated and dynamic” Mouse-Free Marion Project Manager. The project is a joint endeavour between the South African Department of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries (DEFF) and the environmental NGO BirdLife South Africa, as described on the “Mouse Free Marion” website.
The scope of the project manager’s work will include reviewing and refining the Mouse-Free Marion Project and its operational plans and assisting with the appointment of the Operations Manager and the eradication team. Qualifying requirements for the position include a minimum of 10 years’ experience in project/business management at a senior level. Project management experience in island-based invasive mammal eradication will be an additional advantage.
The COVID-19 pandemic and its attendant travel restrictions has led to pauses in eradication projects on New Zealand’s Auckland Island, United Kingdom’s Gough Island and the USA’s Midway Atoll, all supporting large populations of ACAP-listed species. Perhaps these three islands, along with Marion, can still all be declared free of introduced mammals by the end of the decade.
The Project Manager will be based in Cape Town, South Africa. The initial contract period will be for 2.5 – 3 years, with a six-month probation period based on initial progress achieved. The position is being advertised internationally and is not restricted to South African citizens/permanent residents. Assumption of contract would be by 1 January 2021; closing date for applications: 3 September 2020. The eradication exercise is currently proposed to be undertaken in the winter of 2023.
With thanks to Carol Jacobs, Department of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries & Nini van der Merwe, BirdLife South Africa for information.
John Cooper, ACAP Information Officer, 07 August 2022, updated 07 September 2020