Worker sought for one of world’s most isolated islands with low pay, ‘long hours’


A British wildlife group is seeking a person willing to spend 13 months on one of the remotest islands in the world to study its bird population.

The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) posted a job listing for a new field officer on Gough Island, a British territory approximately 1,500 miles from Africa in the South Atlantic Ocean, according to the BBC.

The position pays between £25,000 and £27,000 — less than $35,000 — and requires a science degree or equivalent field experience, as well as a willingness to work “frequent long hours” tracking birds, according to the listing.

“This position offers a unique opportunity for a highly motivated and disciplined candidate with relevant fieldwork skills and a keen interest in wildlife, who can adapt well to small island living in a challenging and remote sub-Antarctic environment,” the listing said.

Gough Island, part of the U.K. Overseas Territory of Tristan da Cunha, has no permanent human population, though RSPB employs seven people there and around 8 million birds call it home, the BBC noted. The island can only be reached by boat.

UNESCO has designated the island a World Heritage Site for its relatively undisturbed ecosystem, which serves as a crucial haven for nesting seabirds in the South Atlantic. Its location between the latitudes 40 and 50 south of the equator is prone to strong winds.

Rebekah Goodwill and Lucy Dorman, two of the seven full-time workers on the island, told the BBC that they eat packaged or frozen meals that are stored in two walk-in freezers that are stocked annually.

“One’s full of frozen vegetables and the other’s basically full of frozen meat, and then we’ve got lots of tinned frozen fruit and veg,” Goodwill told the outlet. “They give us a year’s worth of supply of food during that two-week takeover time, and we live off it for the rest of the year.”

Despite its isolated location, the island has internet access, which the women said allows them to communicate with friends and family at home in the U.K.

“In an odd sort of way I kind of feel like I’m more connected to my friends and family here than I probably was when I worked up in Scotland,” Goodwill said. “It’s a very nice community here, so we’re able to share stories, and learn from each other and support each other when you can’t be at a wedding or a funeral.”