Job Type: Temporary
Salary Details: DOE
Deadline: Jun 16, 2023
Position Title: Wildlife Trade Researcher – Niokolo‐Koba National Park support program
Duration: 12 months
Reports To: Senior Program Manager
Location: Tambacounda, operating country-wide
Panthera, founded in 2006, is devoted exclusively to the conservation of wild cats and their ecosystems. Utilizing the expertise of the world’s premier cat biologists, Panthera develops and implements global conservation strategies for the most imperiled large cats – tigers, lions, jaguars, snow leopards, cheetahs, pumas and leopards. Representing the most comprehensive effort of its kind, Panthera works in partnership with local and international NGOs, scientific institutions, local communities and governments around the globe. For more on Panthera, visit www.panthera.org.
Lions and leopards are the target of criminal poacher and trader networks in Senegal and across West Africa where big cat body parts play an important role in local and regional mystical belief systems. Since 2017, Panthera has provided assistance to Senegal’s Directorate of National Parks (DNP) to protect the remaining populations of lions and leopards in Niokolo-Koba National Park (NKNP), where Panthera is focusing efforts on improving park infrastructure and capacitating a security force to halt poaching at source. Given that wildlife trade also negatively affects ecosystems beyond park boundaries and both national and international security, there is an urgent need to complement these activities with a national and regional counter wildlife trafficking strategy. The generation of knowledge on species traded and on factors driving this trade, as well as on the sources and routes used for transport is urgently needed to feed in the strategy and justifies the recruitment of a full time Wildlife Trade Researcher (WTR). The WTR will be responsible for undertaking market surveys across Senegal to assess prevalence and trade volumes, catalogue source populations for big cat contraband, identify trade routes, and conduct consumer surveys to establish consumer profiles and needs. The WTR will carry out survey and research work country wide, and will be based at the Niokolo‐Koba park headquarters in Tambacounda when not on data collection missions, where he/she will be trained and mentored by senior Panthera staff.
Information on the status of wildlife trade in Senegal is critical for providing a basis for interventions aimed to counter illegal wildlife trade. Panthera is seeking an enthusiastic and dedicated young researcher to determine the baseline status and nature of wildlife trade in the country and to gain a better understanding on wildlife trade dynamics. The successful candidate will be mentored by experienced Panthera staff and will gain practical experience in community engagement, data capture and analysis. The candidate will be offered a full-time consultant contract.
The WTR will be responsible for building knowledge on wildlife trade in Senegal with a view to develop and strengthen national, regional and transnational-level counter-wildlife trafficking interventions. This includes planning and execution of market and consumer surveys across the country to: 1) assess prevalence and trade volumes, establish consumer profiles and needs, and help identify trade routes and 2) to inform an agreed law enforcement intervention (raid/searches/seizures). Among others, the research must address the following questions: (1) How does the abundance, diversity and distribution of wildlife trade vary across local markets in Senegal? (2) What are the drivers of illegal wildlife trade in local markets? (3) What are the trade routes and sources of illegally traded wildlife in local markets? Based on the findings, the RWT must provide recommendations to help reduce the market-based wildlife trade.
Primary Duties and Responsibilities
- Setting‐up all wildlife trade survey work with assistance from local and international Panthera staff and in close collaboration with Panthera partners in Senegal;
- Collect, process and analyse survey data from wildlife markets throughout Senegal;
- Produce monthly assessment reports for Panthera, and other relevant stakeholders;
- Elaborate specific technical research and monitoring protocols addressing illegal wildlife trade in Senegal;
- Reacting, through Panthera, to tasking by partners to assist with interventions;
- Assist Panthera local staff in the preparation of funding concepts and proposals addressing wildlife trafficking and management related issues.
Required qualifications and experience
- Sc. and M.Sc. in Conservation Biology, Social Sciences or a related field;
- Proficiency in MS Office software (Word, Excel, PowerPoint) and R statistical software, as well as experience in using GIS software;
- General computer and Android phone proficiency; more than 2 years experience in biological surveys and/or natural resources market surveys;
- Ability to spend time in remote villages and to work independently for long periods;
- Fluent in French and Wolof and conversional level in English;
- Valid driving license. Off-road driving experience is advantageous;
- Good organizational skills;
- Pro‐active, ability to work under own initiative and to respect deadlines.
- Must be authorized to work in Senegal;
- Candidates based in Tambacounda, Senegal preferred
Other Skills and Competences
- Highly developed conceptual, analytical and innovative problem‐solving ability;
- Strong oral and written communication skills;
- Excellent interpersonal skills and ability to establish and maintain effective working relations with people in a multi‐cultural, multi-interest, multi‐ethnic environment;
- Must be detail‐oriented and have the ability to multi-task under limited supervision.
Interacts and works closely with Panthera´s Niokolo-Koba support program team international Panthera scientists and staff.
Dates and Compensation
Salary determined based on qualifications and commensurate with experience.
How to Apply
Candidates are requested to send their application with a detailed CV, 2 letters of reference from previous employers and a letter of motivation before June 16, 2023 to Panthera Careers Page.