Animal Care Intern – Quail: Buenos Aires National Wildlife Refuge, Sasabe, AZ

Southern Utah University IIC
Buenos Aires National Wildlife Refuge, Sasabe, AZ
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Overview: Buenos Aires National Wildlife Refuge (BANWR) is located near the town of Sasabe in southern Arizona. The refuge was established in 1985 to provide habitat for threatened and endangered plant and wildlife species, with an emphasis on the endangered masked bobwhite quail. The refuge, located in the Altar Valley, encompasses approximately 118,000 acres including 5 miles of international boundary with Mexico. BANWR maintains a Masked Bobwhite Quail Captive Breeding Facility located approximately 23 miles east of refuge headquarters near the town of Arivaca. The masked bobwhite quail is an endangered subspecies native only to SW Arizona and Sonora, Mexico. This subspecies was first discovered in 1884. By the early 1900s, it disappeared from its historic range in southern Arizona due to factors such as habitat modification, grazing and drought. Today, Buenos Aires National Wildlife Refuge raises birds for reintroduction and for the first time in decades, has birds living and reproducing on their home soil. This position will be part of a dedicated team working to once again, see the endangered masked bobwhite thrive. 640-710 hours to be completed by the end of internship. Anticipated period of work is June 2022 – September/October 2022 with some flexibility in dates. Work hours generally will be 7:00 am-03:30 pm but are subject to change based on operational needs. Some early morning and late afternoon hours may be required due to the chick rearing season. Interns will be required to work weekends and holidays. Shared, onsite housing near refuge headquarters is provided. Work location is approximately 23 miles (45-minute drive) from refuge housing. Position Responsibilities: Primary duties are assisting Refuge staff with animal husbandry of the endangered masked bobwhite quail. Responsibilities will include but are not limited to proving general care for the captive population of masked bobwhite quail and maintaining sanitary conditions of refuge facilities such as the outdoor flight pens where birds are housed in a more natural setting, an indoor quail facility, and a public viewing pen. Maintenance and structural integrity of all components and operation of infrastructure (i.e., irrigation systems) as well as maintaining a bio-secured and rodent-free facility will be imperative in the success of this program. Flight pen responsibilities include care and maintenance of birds in an acre-sized outdoor flight pen facility housing endangered masked bobwhite quail. General daily care will include cleaning the facilities, feeding quail, and oversight of up to 400 captive free-flying quail in various sized pens. Additional flight duties may involve sorting quail, disinfecting dishes and supplies/equipment, and other tasks such as care of native vegetation inside the flights as well as management and removal of non-native plants both inside and out of the flights to benefit the captive outdoor quail housing environment. There may also be occasions when perimeter fence or overhead netting will require immediate repairs and rodent traps cleaned and maintained. All activities will be directed under the guidance of the quail facility manager. Captive indoor facility responsibilities include feeding birds, sweeping and mopping floors, cleaning and disinfecting cages, cleaning and monitoring food dishes and water jars, changing wood shavings in floor pens as needed, and providing new enrichment materials for indoor birds. Also necessary, will be moving sick or injured birds to isolated cages for recovery, and provide minor medical care such as applying or removing bandages. Assist quail facility manager with regular inventory and record keeping. Public viewing pen responsibilities include general care and maintenance of birds and facilities similar to the previous locations. Upon successful completion of this internship, the intern will have earned Public Lands Corps Hiring Authority which can be used to gain permanent employment with the federal government.
Qualifications: Ability to carry 40-pound bags of feed, and work long hours on your feet. Ability to adhere to strict bio-security protocols. Attention to detail and accurate data collecting/record keeping. Ability to effectively and respectfully collaborate with refuge staff, fellow technicians, various partners, and volunteers. Ability to multi-task and adapt to evolving priorities. Ability to work indoors and outdoors, often in extreme weather conditions. Must be organized, responsible, efficient, hard-working, and demonstrate time management skills. Ability to work independently in remote locations and practice quick decision making. Ability to live in close quarters with others and the flexibility to adapt to quick changes in work schedule if needed. Valid driver’s license is required. Must have a personal vehicle for non-work-related transportation, shopping, or individual entertainment.
Contact Person
Paula O Briant
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