Job Vacancy – Saving Meru’s Giants Project Lead

  Duma Works wrote this on
June 10, 2021 | No Comments

Duma Works is supporting Born Free Foundation to recruit a Project Lead in Meru, Kenya. 

About the Charity

Born Free works tirelessly to ensure that all wild animals, whether living in captivity or in the wild, are treated with compassion and respect and are able to live their lives according to their needs. As a leading wildlife charity, we oppose the exploitation of wild animals in captivity and campaign to keep them where they belong – in the wild.

We promote Compassionate Conservation to enhance the survival of wildlife, especially threatened species in the wild, and to protect natural habitats while respecting the needs and safeguarding the welfare of individual animals. We seek to have a positive impact on animals in the wild and protect their ecosystems in perpetuity, for their own intrinsic value and for the critical roles they play within the natural world.

Set up initially as Zoo Check in 1984 by Bill Travers, Virginia McKenna and their son Will Travers, Born Free has worked tirelessly for over 37 years to prevent captive animal suffering and phase-out zoos. Will continues to lead the organisation as Executive President, and Virginia remains active on the Board of Trustees, working closely with the team to share our vision and programmes on public forums.

About the role

Born Free has country offices in UK, Kenya, Ethiopia and South Africa. Since 2010, Born Free Kenya (BFK) has been working in the Amboseli Ecosystem with the Maasai community, reducing predator conflict and retaliatory killings by constructing predator-proof
bomas and promoting wildlife-friendly rural development.

In 2014, Born Free returned to its roots in the Meru-Kora landscape, where the lion Elsa was released, with the long-term objective of safe-guarding the lion population there. We are now looking to increase our efforts in the Meru-Kora Landscape by initiating the Saving Meru’s Giants (SMG) initiative, aimed at securing coexistence between communities and elephants and giraffes to ensure the persistence of large herbivore populations in Meru for the long-term.

This Born Free-run programme seeks to address the threats African savannah elephants and reticulated giraffes face by monitoring and identifying individuals of the population, whilst implementing nature-based solutions to prevent crop loss and damage by large herbivores and to halt illegal activity. This work goes hand-in-hand with our efforts to increase community awareness and capacity to mitigate conflict through workshops and the creation of a local team who will work within their communities to implement effective and simple solutions to conflict.

We are currently seeking an individual to take on the role of SMG Project Lead, which will be instrumental in the successful implementation and development of Saving Meru’s Giants. A key part of this role will be to develop and implement large herbivore monitoring and human-elephant and human-giraffe conflict mitigation in Eastern Conservation Area (ECA), which includes Meru and Kora National Parks and Bisanadi and Mwingi National Reserves.

The successful applicant will be line managed by the Head of Meru Programme, will liaise closely with the UK Conservation Team who will have technical responsibility for the project, and will maintain close liaison with Born Free’s Country Representative, based in Nairobi. He/she will also work closely with the Meru Education Officer. He/she will be based in the field and liaise with the KWS Research Scientist/Community Warden/Education Warden. He/she will directly line manage and provide technical support to the SMG Officer and will work closely with other members of the Meru Conservation team.

The position is full-time and involves frequent travel and field work away from base, camping in remote locations within the Eastern Conservation Area.

Responsibilities include but are not limited to:

  1. Line-manage and support the SMG Project Officer.
  2. With the technical direction of the UK Conservation team and Head of Meru Programme, develop and implement project activities.
  3. Lead on monitoring activities of the elephant and giraffe populations, using a variety of different data collection techniques (road and transect wildlife and habitat surveys, camera trapping, etc.) to gather data on abundance, density and distribution, ranging and
    feeding behaviour, habitat use, individual identification for demography, human-elephant/giraffe conflict and health monitoring.
  4. Lead on the implementation of social surveys (to inform on socio-economics; socio-ecology; conflict; understanding, attitudes and perceptions regarding wildlife and conservation) and monitor illegal activity.
  5. Lead on the implementation of compassionate nature-based human-elephant/giraffe conflict mitigation initiatives in communities
    around the ECA, such as beehive/chilli fences, working with the Education Team.
  6. Lead on an ‘Elephant Ambassadors’ initiative, which is aimed at building capacity within the communities to coexist with
  7. Lead on a ‘Twiga Team’ initiative, which is aimed at increasing communities’ participation in the prevention of
    illegal activity.
  8. Collect data on elephant/giraffe populations, human-elephant/giraffe conflict and other threats using the approved tools
    e.g. Survey123 for inclusion in the central database.
  9. Analyse data, report and publish in relevant media, in collaboration with the UK and Kenya Born Free team and relevant collaborators.
  10. Liaise with relevant departments at KWS-ECA and engage in dialogue with County governments and other stakeholders, including tourist lodges.
  11. Report against the project logical framework quarterly and annually on project activities to the UK Conservation Team
    and Head of Meru Programme.
  12. Ensure that Born Free’s Country Representative is kept informed, as required.
  13. And any other duty as directed.


  • Postgraduate degree in Natural Resource Management or Wildlife Management or a related field with at least 3 years
    field experience or Undergraduate degree in Resource Management or Wildlife Management or related field with at least 6 years continuous practical field experience.
  • 5-years Practical field experience managing wildlife conservation field projects is preferred.
  • Experience in developing and working to logical frameworks and strategies.
  • In-depth understanding of people’s culture and conservation issues in Kenya.
  • Experience in project development, management, analytical and organisational skills including good financial accountability.
  • Experience of working in challenging environmental conditions when working in the field.
  • Experience in collecting, managing, and analysing ecological and social science data using SPSS, R, STATA, GIS, etc, and producing scientific research reports.
  • Excellent technical report writing skills.
  • Proficiency in the use of online meeting tools, such as Zoom, Teams and Outlook.
  • A team leader with excellent, communication, interpersonal and presentational skills.
  • Ability to build good relationships with the rest of BFK team, and partner organisations to actualise Born Free’s Kenya strategy.
  • Fluent in English (ability to speak Kiswahili is added advantage).
  • Ability and willingness to drive and care for project vehicle as per Born Free motor vehicle policy.

This is a role with a competitive salary, dependent on qualifications and experience, and generous benefits including 21 days holiday per annum, private health and accident insurance, and a contributory pension scheme. This position is based full-time in the Meru Conservation Area with some international travel.

The role will start on 1st October 2021.


Duma is assisting Born Free Foundation in its recruitment efforts.

Click here to submit your application through the Duma Works portal. Please direct all applications and inquiries to Duma.

Submit your cover letter and CV as one document.

This position will remain open until filled.

Born Free is an equal opportunities employer.

Thank you for your interest in working for Born Free.


*You will receive a confirmation email and an alert to take a basic screening test online. The email with the test may not arrive immediately. Please be patient. The email test will typically be 5-8 questions to help us understand your background.

If you apply and don’t meet these minimum qualifications, we will not move forward with your application.

Posted in Jobs Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,