Student placements in Kyrgzstan

The Ornithological Society of Kyrgyzstan is accepting applications for student and research placements for 2024!

The Ornithological Society of Kyrgyzstan (OSKG) is based in Bishkek, the leafy capital of the Kyrgyz Republic. It aims to raise awareness of Kyrgyzstan’s rich birdlife and protect their varied habitats. OSKG conducts wildlife conservation, ecotourism, and research activities around Kyrgyzstan. Activities are conservation-focused, community-based, participatory, and grounded in the latest science. More information is available on our website:

OSKG is currently accepting applications from interested students and researchers for a placement within our organisation to conduct research into avifauna in Kyrgyzstan, and share their knowledge and research skills with local conservationists.

Placements are open to students undertaking study for their Masters degree or PhD or researchers in conservation biology or a related field.

OSKG will provide:

– Orientation in Bishkek and Kyrgyzstan for the student/researcher, and a friendly local community of bird and nature lovers

– Orientation within the context of avifauna in Kyrgyzstan including pressing topics for scientific and conservation research

– Logistical support for research projects, including field work in remote locations

– Support for community and stakeholder engagement

– Connection to local researchers, the National Academy of Science, and relevant national authorities

– Opportunities to present findings to local communities, schools and authorities

– And of course… bird-watching trips and expeditions with OSKG members!

Students/researcher will devote some time mentoring a local university student and present the results of the findings to the local biodiversity conservation community (local groups, NGOs, researchers). OSKG is unfortunately not able to provide funds to financially support the research itself but would provide substantial in-kind contribution.

Research topics could focus on the following vulnerable and threatened species:

  • Saker Falcon, Falco cherrug
  • Egyptian Vulture, Neophron percnopterus
  • Common Pochard, Aythya ferina
  • White-headed Duck (winter only), Oxyura leucocephala
  • Horned Grebe, Podiceps auritus

Topics of interest for our society also include population trends of high mountain species, including the Himalayan Snowcock (Tetraogallus himalayensis), studies on the local population of White Storks (Ciconia ciconia asiatica) and Black Storks (Ciconia Nigra), acoustic studies on resident species, and wader breeding populations and trends (both around the main water bodies and on the high plateaux), studies on the impact of electrocution and collision on power lines, studies focusing our one and only colony of Bar-headed Geese (Anser indicus), and on the Little Bustard (Tetrax tetrax).

 OSKG currently runs a small research project on the Little Bustard and is conducting an avian population inventory in the eastern Issyk-Kol region to support the development of an ornithological micro-reserve. Bird species in Kyrgyzstan are mostly known, but very little research has been conducted on population trends. Kyrgyzstan has an important population of vultures (Himalayan, Black, Bearded, and the endangered Egyptian Vulture). It also hosts populations of raptor species that face acute threats of poaching and electrocution, among them the Saker Falcon. Kyrgyzstan’s lakes are breeding grounds for a number of waders and wildfowl, and also one of the first wintering grounds for species breeding further north. The impacts of climate change on mountain bird species is yet to be investigated here but is a topic of rapidly growing importance.

For more information, please feel welcome to contact us at and in fact we encourage you to contact us in advance if you are considering applying.

To apply, please submit the following to by 15 February 2024:

  • CV and cover letter, demonstrating previous experience conducting field work, research work, and experience working or traveling in a developing country and/or working in a culturally diverse work environment
  • Brief research plan outline, including background, research aims, methods, and timeline (max 2 pages excluding references)
  • Names and contact details of two referees

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