If you’re passionate about saving the ocean and its surrounding seabird inhabitants, this is your chance to get involved; the Southern African Foundation for the Conservation of Coastal Birds (SANCCOB) is offering 6-month Chick Rearing Unit internship opportunities for those who wish to go into careers that involve work with penguins.
SANCCOB is a registered non-profit organisation (NPO) whose primary objective is to reverse the decline of seabird populations through the rescue, rehabilitation and release of ill, injured, abandoned, and oiled seabirds.
The seabird Chick Rearing internship has been developed to equip applicants with chick husbandry skills and egg management skills for a career in captive breeding or seabird chick rearing. The internship enables successful applicants to track the lifecycle of seabirds and focuses on equipping trainees with hands-on skills for working with seabirds at every stage, from egg hatching to the birds’ release into the wild.
Skills observed, assisted with, and learned during the internship:
- Maintaining a high level of hygiene and cleanliness within the Chick Rearing Unit
- Weighing of chicks and calculating feed portions for each based on their weight
- Calculating and updating medication amounts for individual birds under supervision of the Veterinarian
- Record keeping of individual birds
- Handling and feeding African penguin chicks (all ages)
- Admitting and monitoring of eggs during incubation and hatching (weighing, candling, measuring, and egg buddy)
- Working as part of a team as well as independently
- Assisting in basic training of other interns
- Identifying behaviour in chicks to determine health status
- Maintaining adequate temperature control in the Chick Rearing Unit
Expectation of interns from SANCCOB:
- Committed individuals with the willingness to go the extra mile (crucial)
- Physically fit and able to stand for a full shift
- Comfortable with getting dirty
- Willing to work in all weather conditions, frequently outside
- Able to work in a team as well as independently
- Able to follow Standard Operating Procedures
- Reliable and accountable individual
- Compassionate and caring nature with a love for seabirds
- Attention to detail
- Strong sense of initiative
- Excellent communication skills
- Good problem-solving skills
- Ability to multi-task and perform tasks in order of importance and priority and delegate tasks to volunteers and other interns
- Work well under pressure
- Previous experience working with birds desirable though not essential
Each intern will receive a training plan that will include an outline of the internship, with goals and action dates to complete these goals; this will be done with the support of the Chick Rearing Supervisor, who will be their mentor, and the Volunteer Coordinator.
Applicants must be aware that the environment they will work in is quiet and solitary by nature.
Length of internship: 6 months (minimum)
Hours of work: Mostly shift work, 5 days a week (including some weekends and public holidays).
Morning shift: 5.30am to 2.30pm / Afternoon shift: 1.30 pm to 9.30pm.
Interns may also be expected to work 8am to 5.30pm, with a lunch break from 1pm to 2pm and a short break in the morning and the afternoon.
Some days may require interns to assist until 6.30pm. As such, willingness to go the extra mile during the busy times will be crucial.
Interns will report to the Chick Rearing Supervisor.
Available dates for joining are:
- April 2019 – September 2019 x 1
- June 2019 – November 2019 x 1
- September 2019 – February 2010 x 2
- October 2019 – March 2020 x 1
- December 2019 – May 2020 x 1