Join the Conservian Live-Aboard Schooner Expedition 2017

Wilson's Plover chick. This is an excellent opportunity to gain multi-species shorebird ID and monitoring experience.
Wilson’s Plover chick. This is an excellent opportunity to gain multi-species shorebird ID and monitoring experience.

Your help is needed to protect beach-nesting birds, nests, and young. Conservian is planning for Year 2 of their shorebird and habitat conservation program in the Bahamas. Come join them for the adventure of a lifetime!

Conservian is seeking a weekly crew of 8 to 12 enthusiastic volunteers for our Bahamas shorebird habitat conservation project in May 2017 aboard the 75ft schooner “Dream Catcher”. This is an excellent opportunity to gain field experience and shorebird ID skills. Trip cost for one week is $1,250 and includes your bunk, onboard meals, water, and ground transportation associated with project. Participants will fly to the Bahamas to designated airports for shuttle transport to schooner. A valid passport is required. Airfare and insurance are not included.

Project Summary

In 2017, Conservian and partners will continue on-the-ground protective and restorative measures to limit human-caused disturbance, and control invasive Australian pine at key Piping Plover, shorebird, and seabird sites in the Bahamas. Field volunteers will participate in collecting new data on shorebirds and seabirds of the Bahamas. Selected sites include Globally Important and locally Important Bird Areas and national parks of the Bahamas, such as Lucaya National Park IBA, Peterson Cay National Park IBA, Joulter Cays National Park IBA, and the Berry Islands, as well as additional key shorebird sites on Grand Bahama Island and Great Abaco. Read about our exciting and successful field season in 2016 here.

Our days will be filled with much adventure. The focus of the work is surveying for beach-nesting bird breeding pairs, nests and young, and working with local volunteers to implement protective measures in the field. Focal species include Wilson’s Plovers, American Oystercatchers, Least Terns and other colonial nesting species. We will work in both populated and remote areas, sail blue Caribbean waters, visit white sandy beaches, boat to little islands, conduct ground surveys for beach-nesting birds, nests, and downy chicks, and meet new people. We will work with local volunteers to post and sign shorebird sites and control invasive Australian pine. Field crew will assistant with collecting data on breeding pairs, habitat assessment and human-created disturbance.  Field crew will also assist with shipboard duties; sailing, cooking and cleaning. There will be time to fish, snorkel, and visit local island towns.

Our days will be filled with much adventure aboard the 75ft schooner “Dream Catcher”.
Our days will be filled with much adventure aboard the 75ft schooner “Dream Catcher”.

Project partners include: BirdsCaribbean, Bahamas National Trust, International Conservation Fund of Canada, USFWS/NMBCA, LightHawk, Dow AgroSciences, Grand Bahama Nature Tours, Optics for the Tropics, Grand Bahama Port Authority, Bahamas Public Parks & Beaches Authority, Bahamas Environment, Science & Technology Commission, Rand Nature Center, Abaco Friends of the Environment, Treasure Cay Community Center, Royal Bahamas Police Force/Marine Support.

Project Activities:

  • Protect, post & sign shorebird & seabird sites
  • Collect new data on nesting shorebirds & habitat
  • Observe/assist with bird banding (conditions permitting)
  • Control invasive Australian pine on beach habitats
  • Work with local volunteers to accomplish the above goals

Qualifications: Applicants must be responsible, adventurous, in good physical condition, enjoy working in teams and be capable of walking several miles during warm weather in the Caribbean. Applicants must be comfortable living communally onboard a schooner and riding in small boats to access survey sites.

May expedition schedule and locations (final dates TBD)

Assist for one week or more:

Week 1: Grand Bahama Island- (Freeport GBI Int. Airport)

Week 2: Great Abaco, west- (Freeport/Marsh Harbour Airport)

Week 3: Great Abaco, east- (Marsh Harbour Airport)

Week 4: Berry Islands & Joulter Cays-(Marsh Harbour/Nassau Int.Airport)

If you would like to join our conservation crew for a week or more as part of our Volunteer Field Crew:

Please send 1) letter of interest 2) resume 3) names, email addresses and phone numbers of 2 references to Margo Zdravkovic. Please label all attachments with your name. The review of applicants is ongoing and will continue until positions are filled.

See the article on 2016 project from our supporters at LightHawk.

Read the story of our successful 2016 expedition. 

Visit CoastalBird.org for more information about our 2017 expedition.

Visit Coastal Bird Conservation on Facebook for more information on Conservian’s coastal bird conservation work.

Download the Expedition Brochure.