Saving Wildcats is a partnership project lead by the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland (RZSS), dedicated to Scottish wildcat conservation and recovery, aiming to prevent the extinction of wildcats in Scotland by breeding and releasing them into the wild.
Saving Wildcats is looking for three volunteers to assist our in-situ and ex-situ teams. Volunteering will give you the opportunity to contribute directly towards conservation efforts for the critically endangered wildcat in Scotland.
In-situ volunteer (x2)
Two of these positions are for volunteers to assist our in-situ conservation (field) team. Based at the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland‘s Highland Wildlife Park in Kincraig, this field and office based role will primarily involve radio-tracking collared wildcats and downloading the GPS data, as well as assisting the field team with handling and analysing camera trap survey data. Camera trap data analysis will primarily include the classification of survey images using the programme DigiKam. You will gain direct practical experience of tracking mammals using GPS-radio collars, data collection, handling, and recording, as well as an insight into the complexities involved with in-situ field work.
There may also be opportunities to participate in additional field-based activities, such as camera-trap checks and Trap-Neuter-Vaccinate-Return (TNVR) of feral domestic cats. We’re looking for enthusiastic individuals with an interest in wildcats and species restorations, with fieldwork experience, preferably in the Scottish Highlands or similar remote and challenging conditions.
Ex-situ volunteer (x1)
We are also looking for one volunteer to assist the animal management team at the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland‘s Highland Wildlife Park in Kincraig with activities related to animal husbandry preparation, animal enrichment, animal observations and enclosure refurbishing. The volunteer will also have the opportunity to shadow and learn from experienced keepers directly and provide support within our conservation breeding for release centre, however there will be no direct working with animals.
You will learn about the conservation issues affecting wildcats and the actions being taken to prevent their extinction, including the establishment of the first dedicated conservation breeding for release centre for wildcats in the UK. You will gain direct practical experience of wildcat animal management practices, wildcat observations, and behaviour development techniques. We're looking for an enthusiastic individual with an interest in wildcats and species restorations, comfortable with outdoor working and good practical abilities and a desire to learn animal management skills and approaches.
All volunteers will be provided with local accommodation, discounted lunch at the on-site café, and expenses of up to £50 per week.
RZSS is committed to being fair, open and inclusive. We believe that RZSS benefits from the involvement of volunteers from diverse cultures, perspectives and experiences. We accept people of all genders, races, disabilities, ages, religious beliefs, and sexualities to be part of RZSS. We try to make our spaces and working conditions as accessible as possible and welcome requests to accommodate the individual. We expect our volunteers to adhere to the Guidelines on Equality and Diversity upon induction and throughout their time volunteering to us.