Wildlife Technician Job Description:
Wildlife Technician opportunities are available at Buenos Aires National Wildlife Refuge (BANWR) to work with the federally-listed endangered masked bobwhite quail recovery program. Employment periods are expected to be approximately 6-18 months with some possibility of extension. One or more positions may be filled from this announcement on a rolling basis throughout the year, with the earliest potential date beginning January 1, 2022. Please identify your earliest availability. Position(s) will be hired through Altar Valley Conservation Alliance (employer), with work occurring on and adjacent to BANWR in Pima County, Arizona, and day-to-day oversight and coordination performed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS). View the refuge website at https://www.fws.gov/refuge/buenos_aires/. Positions pay approximately $15.00/hr. Applications will be accepted until positions are filled.
At BANWR, biologists are focused on a conservation mission of saving the masked bobwhite from extinction in its native desert-grassland environment. We are achieving this through intricate partnerships with others that can involve many steps, including: caretaking of genetically diverse captive populations; pairing captive adult breeders using pedigree management to maximize population heterogeneity; using masked bobwhite chicks hatched from eggs incubated at the George M. Sutton Avian Research Center in Oklahoma; trapping wild Northern bobwhite in Texas and Oklahoma and transporting them to BANWR for use as “surrogate parents” to the newly hatched masked bobwhite chicks to teach them invaluable survival skills; releasing these new family groups into optimal habitat on BANWR where masked bobwhite were once self-sustaining; monitoring success and failure of reintroductions through telemetry and audiometric means; implementing habitat management projects to restore favorable landscapes for reintroduced birds; working effectively with others to encourage landscape-scale wildlife management and habitat enhancement, and constantly evaluating and assessing the recovery program to ensure continued achievements.
Wildlife Technicians may be involved in any of the steps identified above, but their duties will primarily focus on following established Standard Operating Procedures to conduct responsibilities at BANWR including: limited care of captive birds to include feeding/watering and providing minimal veterinary care; implementing a variety of habitat enhancement techniques (may include supplemental feeding and water development; modifying mesquite trees using chainsaws, hand saws, loppers, and herbicide treatments [after appropriate training], controlling invasive vegetation, seeding and planting native vegetation, implementing erosion control techniques to slow water flow and accumulate sediment, and conducting related field surveys); conducting habitat assessments (will involve use of “Texas Quail Index” techniques) using ESRI software; helping implement bonding between chicks and surrogate adults; vigilant care of broods in temporary “following pens;” releasing surrogate adults and their broods into suitable refuge locations; locating and monitoring reintroduced birds using telemetry techniques (will involve walking in rugged desert terrain while carrying equipment, troubleshooting signal interference in the field, and keeping detailed notes); accurate data management and maintenance of various databases (will include using phone apps and spreadsheets); and related wildlife management duties. The dynamic mixture of field work and office work will require the Technician to sometimes work independently in a remote setting, and to sometimes work with others as an effective team member.
Work hours will vary and change depending upon the season, weather conditions, and the task being accomplished, but will typically be five consecutive days per week between 7:30AM - 4PM totaling 40 work hours. Technicians should expect some potential early, long days and weekend work scheduling, especially during the summer and fall, depending on the necessary assignments. A flexible work schedule is possible and even required on occasion. Shared housing is available at BANWR for a monthly rent of $183.06. Pets are NOT allowed in the aforementioned refuge housing.
Please note that work is conducted near the U.S. Mexico International Border. Established safety guidelines are to be followed at all times.
To apply, submit your resume, with contact information, experience, and references, to the email address listed below.
Necessary Wildlife Technician knowledge, skills, and abilities:
A mix of education and/or working knowledge of biology, science, renewable natural resources, wildlife management, or similar environmental stewardship background.
Possession of a valid state driver’s license, without restrictions.
Must have a personal vehicle for non-work related transportation, shopping, or individual entertainment.
Ability to adhere to established safety policies and Job Hazard Analyses related to Covid-19 and other potential threats.
Ability to adhere to bio-security protocols and other rules associated with the recovery program for the safety of the birds and other employees.
Ability to hike 3-4 miles daily and walk long hours in rough terrain, sometimes carrying heavy or cumbersome equipment and supplies.
Ability to work effectively in hot and dry, or seasonally humid, conditions.
Ability to work in conditions that potentially harbor venomous reptiles, hazardous arthropods (bees, spiders, scorpions), cactus, and spiny shrubs near the Mexican border.
Ability to safely and effectively work alone in remote areas, and with a team during other activities.
Ability to multi-task and adapt to evolving priorities.
Ability to accurately record data and perform data entry and data management in various databases.
Needs to have strong verbal and written communication skills.
Needs to be organized, responsible, efficient, hard-working, and demonstrate time management skills.
Needs to have strong observation skills and be detail oriented to document critical field notes and ensure potential irregularities within captive bird population are quickly noticed.
Responsible for collecting data correctly, maintaining field equipment, and using government vehicle properly.
Radio telemetry and bird handling experience preferred.
GPS and Microsoft Excel experience (ArcGIS preferred).
Recent CPR, first aid, blood-borne pathogens, and defensive driving certifications preferred.
Ability to safely operate 4-wheel drive trucks over rough roads and in areas subject to flash floods.
Ability to effectively and respectfully collaborate with refuge staff, fellow technicians, various partners, and volunteers.
Ability to commit to the length of the agreed upon term.