Job Offer: Must Love Birds And Being Stranded On An Island

If living alone in a bird-filled version of Jurassic Park sounds like your cup of Earl Grey — a British non-profit has a job for you.

The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) is looking for applicants for a 13-month stay on remote Gough Island in the mid-South Atlantic. As one of a handful of field officers (and only people) living on the island, you should expect “frequent long days” tracking various seabird species in a “challenging sub-Antarctic environment,” according to the job post.

A remote posting on Gough Island for worker Hareen De Silva. Photo: S. Gandhi/RSPB


As for the Jurassic Park reference, it’s not only because the island’s welcome sign shamelessly reuses the famous logo. When two albatrosses court one another in the RSPB video below, their clicks and screeches sound terrifyingly similar to the film’s velociraptors.

You’ll have to get used to the sound because you’re not getting away from this minuscule British territory fast. Calling Gough Island “remote” doesn’t quite cover it.

Between three continents

Located 2,400km from the African mainland, the 91-square-kilometer island has no airstrip. Reaching it requires a seven-day boat ride from South Africa.

map showing location of Gough Island

Rebekah Goodwill and Lucy Dorman, who currently work on the island, are among the RSPB’s seven full-time employees, the BBC reported. They help the organization track the health of the eight million birds who live on Gough. Many of these birds are threatened by mice — an invasive species likely brought to the island by 19th-century sailors.

Goodwill ends her stint in September. The RSPB is looking to replace her, and offering a salary of between £25,000 and £27,000 to the person who steps up.

gough island

An RSPB researcher monitors an albatross. Photo: RSPB


While an escape to the edge of the world might appeal to many people, the job doesn’t sound easy. Applicants need a “science degree or equivalent experience” as well as experience handling wild animals, according to the job post.

And to avoid contamination, there’s no fresh food allowed on Gough — so you’re looking at a year of frozen food.

“I think Bekah and I, being British, thought we were used to rain,” Dorman told the BBC of her time on the island. “But there’s a lot of rain.”

However, Gough Island does have enough internet connectivity to stay in touch with family and friends, according to the BBC.

No mention of whether that includes the ability to watch Netflix.

Andrew McLemore

An award-winning journalist and photographer, Andrew McLemore brings more than 14 years of experience to his position as Associate News Editor for Lola Digital Media. Andrew is also a musician, climber and traveler who currently lives in Medellin, Colombia. When he’s not writing, playing gigs or exploring the outdoors, he’s hanging out with his dog Campana.