[MARMAM] Volunteers needed to help with seabird and cetacean fieldwork in South of Spain (Andalusia)

Joan Giménez Verdugo gimenez.verdugo at gmail.com
Fri Dec 16 07:08:54 PST 2011

Volunteers needed to help with seabird and cetacean fieldwork in South of
Spain (Andalusia)

Dear all,

EBD-CSIC (http://www.ebd.csic.es) is seeking applications from 3 volunteers
to help in the motorboat ELSA in the study of abundance and distribution of
seabirds and cetaceans in the Gulf of Cadiz (Andalucía – Spain) from 23
January to 23 February 2012 (one month).


Seabirds and cetaceans of the marine system of Doñana (south of Spain) have
been monitored since 2004. However, the information on the distribution and
abundance of seabirds is limited to censuses along the coastline, and for
cetaceans only the number of individuals found stranded on beaches has been
recorded.  The available data for seabirds suggest a high species diversity
but with considerable temporal variability across the year. During some
periods the area holds a high percentage of the global population of some
species, for example the endangered Balearic shearwater (*Puffinus
mauritanicus*). While the Doñana marine environment also holds a rich
community of cetaceans, there is no information on abundance, distribution
and impact of human activities on these populations.  Distribution of these
marine predators is mainly influenced by food resource availability, but
also by oceanographic characteristics that define habitat suitability. The
aim of this project is to determine the abundance and distribution, both
spatial and temporal, of seabirds and cetaceans in the Gulf of Cadiz. Our
approach is to examine abiotic and biotic environmental variables including
activity and impact of local fisheries. Results from this project are of
considerable interest from a scientific point of view, but also have an
important application in the management of Doñana National Park. We will
generate critical data for sound decision making, given current discussions
as to the appropriate limits for the marine protected area. Our data will
also allow for the prediction of the potential impact of anthropogenic
alterations to the environment, such as oil spills, fisheries, wind-energy
generation and harbour construction.

Volunteers should be available for the entire period of one month. You will
be responsible for your transport to and from the main centre, but once
here, we will provide accommodation, transport to the different harbors and
food expenses (communal shopping/cooking will be arranged).

The main port will be Chipiona and all the volunteers and research team
will be based there, although other ports (Barbate, Isla Cristina…) could
be used during the surveys (in that case everyone will sleep in the boat).
We have planned to do lineal transect to cover the coastal area of the Gulf
of Cadiz (12 nautical miles) with the motorboat ELSA (10 meters) with an
observation point at 5 meters above sea level to monitor seabirds,
cetaceans and anthropogenic activities.

Volunteers should be prepared to long working days (some days more than 8
hours) under the sun, the wind and cold weather and to help with data entry
and office duties during bad weather days.

Successful applicants will:

- have previous experience in seabirds identification at sea (VERY

- have a mature attitude towards seabird and marine mammal research

- be autonomous and quickly operational

- be able to live and work constructively with others in a team

- be able to live in a small boat (10meters) for some days

- speak fluently Spanish and/or English

- be available for the entire one month period

Applicants should send an email introducing themselves to
gimenez.verdugo(at)gmail.com <gimenez.verdugo at gmail.com>. The email should
include an outline of why you would like to work on this project, your
qualifications and previous experience. Please also attach a brief CV,
detailing your previous experiences relevant to this project.

For those who are interested, there is an opportunity for arriving before
and help the team with the preparation of the survey, please mention it in
your email.

Applications will be accepted until 5th January 2012 and then your
participation will be confirmed as soon as possible.

For more information, do not hesitate to contact me.

All the best,

Joan Giménez Verdugo
gimenez.verdugo at gmail.com
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