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Snr Vulture Conservation Officer-Southern Africa / The Isdell Vulture Conservation Fellow

BirdLife International is seeking to recruit an enthusiastic and experienced individual for the position of Senior Vulture Conservation Officer (Southern Africa).  Vulture conservation in Africa is top priority for BirdLife International with a global campaign for this purpose already in place.

Application deadline
27 October 2021

Zambia, Zimbabwe, Botswana or South Africa

Full time
40 hours per week

3 years (renewable)

US$20,000 – 24,000 annual gross, this amount will vary subject to qualification and the location/country where the position will be based in the Southern Africa region

The work is mostly implemented through a portfolio of small to large donor-funded projects that require focused management not only for effective delivery, but also complementary aligning for maximum impact in conserving vultures in the continent. As such, the main purpose of the Senior Vulture Conservation Officer (Southern Africa), also referred to as the Isdell Vulture Conservation Fellow, will be to manage a portfolio of projects addressing vulture threats across Southern Africa, participate in development of and fundraising for new projects within the subregion, support communications and policy/advocacy, promote regional collaborations and provide scientific support for evidence-based delivery of these projects. In particular, will be to develop and implement a subregional communications strategy in Southern Africa, provide technical support for ongoing projects, strengthen links between science, policy and project development and spearhead two new areas of work (1) coordination of an ecosystem services assessments of vultures and (2) development and implementation of a subregional advocacy plan to address the threat of lead poisoning.


1. Provide management support for a portfolio of vulture conservation projects, especially in southern Africa

  • Provide direction and leadership to the project implementation teams in planning and implementing of a selected set of vulture conservation projects in the southern Africa Portfolio
  • In liaison with finance staff, be responsible for the management of project funds, including adherence to appropriate financial procedures and controls, and financial reporting
  • Draw up, manage and oversee contractual sub-grants to partners and other legal documents and agreements where necessary
  • Ensure adequate work planning and reporting for the projects and for sub-granted partners.
  • Undertake recruitment of project staff and consultants, negotiation of contracts and ensuring obligation to all applicable regulations concerning these staff in liaison with human resources staff
  • Regularly communicate vulture project milestones through developing and publishing vulture news items for webpage, newsletters and other media
  • Identify and utilise opportunities for raising the profile of vultures and influencing relevant policies through project activities
  • Identify and promote opportunities for subregional collaborations and support partners in implementing these projects

2. Contribute towards development of- and fundraising for new and follow-up vulture conservation projects that contribute to addressing vulture in southern Africa, and in line with the BirdLife Africa Vulture Flagship Initiative

  • Support development and submission to donors of fundraising proposals to seek resources for implementation of vulture conservation in line with the Vulture Flagship Initiative
  • Support BirdLife Africa partners in development and submission of fundraising proposals for work on vultures
  • Develop follow-up ideas for existing vulture conservation projects to fill major observed gaps

3. Provide scientific support for evidence-based development and delivery of vulture conservation projects

  • Ensure vulture project development and delivery is grounded on sound science, and where possible project outputs scientifically published
  • Put in place mechanisms for measuring impact and progress of vulture projects

4. Lead on key subregional projects and collaborations specifically

  • Oversee and coordinate the ecosystem services assessment of vultures to determine their total economic value. This will involve working with appropriate researchers and consultants to deliver the best product.
  • Galvanize a subregional collaboration to explore how to influence the use of lead-free ammunition across the southern African countries and mitigate efforts of lead already in the environment

5. Any other duties delegated by the Vulture Conservation Manager

Required skills, experience and qualifications:  

  • Master’s degree or equivalent experience, or related degree
  • MSc in conservation / natural resource management/ related field; knowledge of biodiversity conservation essential; ornithological knowledge and interest in raptors will be an advantage
  • Deep understanding of conservation issues in Africa (southern Africa especially); Good knowledge and interest in ornithology, ecology and applied biology
  •  A proven track record of relevant work experience in biodiversity conservation, including planning, proposal writing, project development and management and networking
  • High motivation, desire to achieve; Ability to develop and implement species conservation projects including work planning and excellent time management
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills. Ability to work with people with various levels of competence
  • Ability to analyse complex problems, and generate creative and pragmatic solutions
  • Flexibility and ability to work independently
  • Computer literacy in all standard Microsoft office, ability to use ARC GIS would be an advantage
  • Good Interpersonal skills necessary to work in a team and operate remotely with partners
  • Oral and written fluency in English; working knowledge of French would be an advantage
  • Willingness to travel at short notice when required

Application deadline: 27 October 2021


The position will be based either in Zambia, Zimbabwe, Botswana or South Africa within the southern African region depending on candidate’s home country and authority to work

Salary & benefits:

Salary: US$20,000 – 24,000 annual gross, this amount will vary subject to qualification and the location/country where the position will be based in the Southern Africa region

  • Length/duration of this position: 3 years (renewable)
  • Working hours: Full time 40 hours per week
  • Date when the job expected to start: 1 December 2021


Applications, including a covering letter summarizing the applicant’s suitability for the position, a detailed CV and names and contact addresses of three referees known to the applicant in a professional capacity, should be sent via email before the application deadline to:  [email protected]

Interviews:  Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.